Share this article

print logo

POLICE & COURTS

North Tonawanda student accused of false bomb threat

NORTH TONAWANDA -- A North Tonawanda High School student was charged Thursday with anonymously reporting a bomb threat to the school.

The 16-year-old youth was arrested late Thursday morning and accused of falsely reporting the bomb threat to the school, using a computer at his home.

Shortly before 10 a.m., North Tonawanda police and school officials placed the school in a lockdown mode, and fire crews were positioned close to the school as a precaution while the threat was investigated.

The threat was traced to the teen, police said, and he was charged with first-degree falsely reporting an incident, a felony that would carry a prison term for up to seven years for an adult suspect.

After being arraigned in City Court, the teen was released on his own recognizance and suspended from school pending further court proceedings.

It could not be determined from school officials what grade the teen is in.

-----

Third trial set for man twice convicted in '81 deaths

LOCKPORT -- A third trial date has been set for Robie J. Drake, a North Tonawanda man convicted twice of murdering two high school classmates more than 30 years ago.

The Appellate Division of State Supreme Court has twice overturned convictions in the Dec. 5, 1981, case, which accused him in the rifle slayings of Steven Rosenthal, 18, and Amy Smith, 16.

Drake, now 47, was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder in a trial in the Niagara County Court in October 1982, but that conviction was thrown out because of prosecutorial misconduct in 2009.

A new trial was held in March 2010, with the same results and an even a stiffer sentence, with State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. sentencing him to 50 years to life in prison, rather than the 40-to-life term he received in 1982.

That conviction was overturned by a five-judge appeals panel in Rochester on April 27. The justices said Kloch allowed evidence to be introduced against Drake that should have been disallowed.

Drake appeared before Kloch again Thursday. The judge set a new trial date for Oct. 15 but said Drake's defense attorney in the 2010 trial, Andrew C. LoTempio, has declined to represent him in this third trial. The case currently is assigned to the Public Defender's Office.

-----

Child found in pool revived by trooper, Boston rescuers

A state trooper and emergency responders are credited with saving the life of a toddler who was found unresponsive Tuesday night in the family's in-ground pool on Omphalius Road in the Town of Boston.

Trooper Christopher Sullivan of the Boston barracks responded to the home after a 911 call and found the 23-month-old girl to be unconscious and not breathing. He immediately began CPR and was able to partially revive the child.

Moments later, Boston EMS arrived and relieved the trooper. The child was taken to Women & Children's Hospital, where she was in critical but stable condition.

Investigation revealed the incident to be accidental. State police credited the quick actions of the child's family, Sullivan and Boston EMS in saving the child.

-----

East Side man, 63, bitten by pit bulls running loose

A 63-year-old East Side man was taken to Buffalo General Medical Center for treatment of serious leg injuries after two of three pit bulls running loose through his neighborhood bit him in the 300 block of Landon Street, near Fillmore Avenue, at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Buffalo police and animal control officers responded to a call about the attack, and the pit bulls were taken to the Buffalo Animal Shelter on Oak Street. Authorities on Wednesday night were still trying to locate the owner or owners of the dogs.

Neighborhood residents told police and firefighters the dogs have recently been terrorizing the neighborhood.

Police had weapons drawn until animal control officers brought the three animals, two males and an apparently pregnant female, under control and placed them in their vehicle.

-----

Grand jury indicts 3 men on drug trafficking charges

A federal grand jury in Buffalo has returned an 11-count indictment accusing three Buffalo men of multiple narcotics trafficking charges.

Charges against Pascual Navarro-Gonzalez, 29; Erick Joel Reyes-Barretto, 27; and Juan Montanez, 46, include conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, maintaining a premises for the purpose of manufacturing, distributing and using controlled substances, possession with intent to distribute and distribution of heroin, attempt to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute heroin and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

The charges carry at least five years in prison, as many as 40 years, and a fine of up to $5 million.

The defendants were arrested March 6, after agents with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration executed a search warrant at a Buffalo residence and seized heroin, cocaine, ammunition and drug paraphernalia, prosecutors said.