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Two men facing charges in drive-by gunfire

Two men were charged with attempted assault and other counts after a drive-by shooting incident on Wick Street late Tuesday in which nobody was struck by gunfire, Buffalo police said.

The attempted shooting came in the midst of five days of violence in which a dozen people were shot in Buffalo, two of them fatally.

Nathanial Myers, 20, of Wyoming Street, and Ka'Ron McDuffie, 21, of Armbruster Street, were arrested Wednesday afternoon on East Ferry Street by Officers Robert Gonez and Mark White, and charged with being responsible for the gunfire in the first block of Wick Street at about 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Myers, identified by witnesses as the man who fired four to five shots from a sport utility vehicle, and McDuffie, a passenger in the SUV, were each charged with first-degree attempted assault, first-degree reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child. The latter charge was because a 15-year-old girl was almost hit with gunshots, police said.

McDuffie also was charged with criminal possession of the handgun Myers is accused of firing, police said.

Police continue to seek those responsible for the homicides.


Vehicle strikes, damages Carrabba's restaurant

The entrance to Carrabba's Italian Grill off Niagara Falls Boulevard in Amherst was heavily damaged when it struck by a Range Rover at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

An 81-year-old man was behind the wheel of the Range Rover, police said. No injuries were reported.


Menacing case results in 60-day jail term

A Cheektowaga man was sentenced to 60 days in jail for menacing after attempting to strike a woman with a crowbar last November, Cheektowaga police officials reported.

Gregory Russell, 31, of Chapel Avenue, who has a record of multiple felony arrests and convictions, was sent to jail by Cheektowaga Town Justice Paul Piotrowski.

The victim, a 51-year-old woman, was helping her daughter move out of a Claudette Court apartment in an attempt to leave Russell and end their relationship, police said. That's when Russell swung the crowbar at the victim. Russell pleaded guilty Wednesday to an attempted menacing charge and was sentenced by Piotrowski to the jail time at the Erie County Correctional Facility.


Oakfield man, 84, killed while cutting down tree

BATAVIA -- An elderly man died after he apparently was hit in the head by a tree he was cutting down, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said.

The death of LaVerne M. Bridge, 84, of Fisher Road, Oakfield, was reported Thursday morning by a friend who had stopped by to check on him. He was last seen alive at about 3 p.m. Wednesday, authorities said.

It appears that Bridge had been working in a wooded area behind his home when the tree snapped and hit him, authorities said.


Buffalo man accused of raping girl, 15

A Buffalo man was charged with raping a 15-year-old girl after coaxing her to his place May 3, Buffalo police reported Thursday.

Shaheed O. White, 20, of Center Lane, was arrested by Officer Ann Vanyo at Delaware and Church Street at about 10 p.m. Wednesday and charged with third-degree rape and sexual misconduct, after the mother of the girl complained to police about her daughter pleading with White not to assault her.

The alleged incident took place in White's flat at about 9:30 a.m. May 3, according to a police report.


Driver hurt after flipping vehicle trying to avoid deer

TOWN OF LOCKPORT -- A 53-year-old man was injured when he flipped his vehicle trying to avoid four deer just after 4 a.m. Thursday on Saunders Settlement Road.

Eugene L. Laubacker, for whom no address was listed, was eastbound, just east of Wasik's Curve, when he attempted to avoid the four deer in the road. His vehicle left the road, struck a culvert pipe, sideswiped some trees and then rolled over onto its roof, Niagara County sheriff's deputies reported.

Laubacker was flown by Mercy Flight to Erie County Medical Center with head and facial injuries. He was listed in stable condition late Thursday, deputies said.

On April 14, a head-on crash at the same location claimed the life of Richard Dunn, 32, of Lockport.


Man accused of shoplifting 128 bags of beef jerky

NIAGARA FALLS -- A North Avenue man has been charged with stealing $162 worth of beef jerky from a local supermarket Wednesday, city police said.

Paul C. Ford, 36, was charged with petit larceny after being stopped just after 11 p.m. at a Tops Supermarket on Portage Avenue.

A manager told police a customer observed Ford placing the beef jerky in the bag. The manager said Ford tried to leave the store with 128 bags of beef jerky sticking out of his pants and then ran when he was confronted.

Store security officers took him into custody.