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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Man found dead after wife reports suicidal threats

A man was found dead Friday in the Town of Niagara shortly after a woman reported her husband made suicidal threats.

Town of Niagara police and Niagara County sheriff's deputies were dispatched to the Blank Road residence in the Wildwood Acres community at 6:44 p.m. They were talking to the woman in the driveway when gunshots were heard from inside the residence.

The sheriff's Emergency Response Team found a 46-year-old man dead inside a bedroom from a gunshot wound to the head.

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Man injured in assault; two others charged

NIAGARA FALLS -- An assault triggered by a man's refusal to leave a garage left him with head wounds and two others under arrest on various charges, city police said.

The incident occurred at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday in an alley in the 400 block of 27th Street. Police said a man was sitting in his garage when two other men came up to visit. The resident of the home told one of the men he was not welcome there, but he refused to leave and the men began to scuffle.

During the altercation, the visitor was struck over the head with what was described as a wooden pole, police said, causing a bloody gash to his head. When the two men continued to tussle, the visitor who had arrived with the unwelcome party poured gasoline over the two men in an apparent attempt to get them to stop fighting, police said.

Police charged Thomas L. Switaj Jr., 41, of 27th Street, with a felony count of second-degree assault, and 34-year-old Robert B. Walter Jr., also of 27th Street, with second-degree reckless endangerment.

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Men in convenience store are robbed at gunpoint

NIAGARA FALLS -- Two Youngstown men were robbed at gunpoint Saturday night after stopping at a 24th Street convenience store to purchase a drink, police said.

The two victims had been riding motorcycles around Goat Island and arrived at Irene's Mini Mart at about 9 p.m., police said. As they entered the store, they were followed by three men, one of whom produced a shotgun and announced a "stickup."

One victim was shoved to the ground, and his pants pockets were rifled. One of the attackers grabbed between $90 and $130 from the victim's pockets, and all three then fled the area on foot. The victim suffered minor cuts to his elbows, knees and head, police said, but refused medical treatment.

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Pedestrian hit by car in Falls and injured

NIAGARA FALLS -- A pedestrian was injured late Saturday when he was struck by a car at Portage Road and Cedar Avenue, police said, the second such incident in two days.

George Garbutt, no age or address available, was taken to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center for treatment of head injuries following the 11:41 p.m. crash, police said. The driver of the vehicle, identified as Kyle Christian, was not immediately charged.

A man suffered minor injuries when he was struck by a car while walking along Niagara Falls Boulevard near Krueger Road in Wheatfield early Friday, Niagara County sheriff's deputies said.

Glenn Nugent, whose age and address were not provided, was transported to Erie County Medical Center following the 2:09 a.m. incident. Deputies said the driver of the car, Corinne Bolea, no age or address available, was not charged, but an investigation into the crash was continuing.

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Michigan woman's camera stolen from hotel room

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Michigan woman told police that a camera was stolen from her downtown hotel room Saturday evening, and she suspects the facility's cleaning staff.

The victim told police she left her room at the Econo Lodge on Rainbow Boulevard at about 5 p.m. to get something to eat. When she returned a half-hour later, she found that her room had been cleaned, and she was unhappy that some of her personal belongings had been touched. She then discovered a camera valued at $120 missing from the room.

After a heated exchange with hotel management, police were called, and they intend to question some of the hotel's cleaning staff.

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ECMC patient leads police on chase in ambulance

Damage to a Rural/Metro Medical Services ambulance and other property was estimated at $80,000 to $100,000 after an Erie County Medical Center patient stole the ambulance from the hospital's emergency room ramp early Sunday morning, led police on a high-speed chase and ultimately crashed the vehicle.

The incident occurred at about 6:30 a.m., Buffalo police said.

Heather Sullivan, 37, is accused of hopping into the ambulance, which was parked on the emergency ramp with the keys in the ignition. She then fled the ECMC parking lot in the ambulance heading east on Kensington Avenue and reaching speeds of nearly 100 mph as she was pursued by ECMC police officers.

Sullivan was charged with reckless endangerment, grand larceny, criminal possession of a stolen vehicle and other counts.