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POLICE & COURTS

Two stabbed during attack by seven on Ontario Street

Two people were stabbed, one in the back and the other in the shoulder, during a robbery and assault early Saturday in the city's Riverside section, Northwest District police said.

Buffalo police said Ivan Melendez, of Lawn Avenue, was stabbed in the back and Angela Ortiz, of Parkview Avenue, in the left rear shoulder. Thomas Carrasquillo was beaten and suffered a cut under his eye and bruising on his forehead, police said.

The victims told police seven males attacked and robbed them on Ontario Street, near Skillen Street.

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Firefighters battle blaze at waste-processing plant

FORT ERIE, Ont. -- Firefighters early Saturday evening battled a blaze at a facility on Pettit Road that recycles old batteries and other waste material, according to a fire official.

The fire was reported at about 6:15 p.m. at the Newalta Industrial Services plant at 1731 Pettit Road in the Town of Fort Erie. Town firefighters had the fire under control, and were in cleanup mode, by 9:45 p.m. No estimate on the amount of damage was available late Saturday.

The fire comes nearly four years after a blaze at the waste-processing plant prompted the brief evacuation of 500 nearby residents.

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Four enter guilty pleas in cocaine-trafficking case

Four people have pleaded guilty to various federal drug crimes as part of an indictment charging 20 people in a large cocaine-distribution network between Buffalo and Houston, the U.S. Attorney's Office has announced.

Entering the guilty pleas were David Manuel, 37; Judith Askew, 44; Arthur Hubbard, 35; and Tonya Maye, 22, all of Buffalo, U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced.

Manuel, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess and distribute at least 5 kilograms of cocaine, agreed with others to buy up to 20 kilograms of cocaine in Houston, for transport and resale in Buffalo, prosecutors stated. Askew, who pleaded guilty to money laundering, laundered more than $10,000 cash.

Hubbard pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess and distribute at least 500 grams, after he was accused of buying at least half a kilogram four different times from Manuel, authorities said. And Maye pleaded guilty to using a telephone to facilitate a federal narcotics felony, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

All four pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

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Rendezvous at bar ends in rape, theft of battery

A woman was raped at knifepoint Friday night by a man she had met in a bar who took the battery from her phone before attacking her, Ferry-Fillmore District police said.

The woman said she met the man in an Elmwood Avenue bar and accepted a ride from him to an unknown address on Goodyear Avenue. When she changed her mind and wanted to leave, the man pulled out the knife and took the battery from her phone. The woman fled at about 3 a.m. after her attacker had fallen asleep, police said.

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Hyde Park banana trees prove appealing to thieves

NIAGARA FALLS -- Two banana trees were stolen early Saturday from the front yard of a Hyde Park-area resident, Niagara Falls police said.

The 30th Street victim said that the two trees, valued at $50, were taken from his yard between midnight and 8:30 a.m.

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Three face assault charges in Ullman Street attack

Three Ullman Street women are being held on assault and other charges for allegedly attacking a Skillen Street woman and injuring her 10-year-old son late Thursday evening in a driveway on the suspects' street.

Zoe R. Rzepa, 27; Karla G. Colon, 28; and Angelica F. Marrero, 24, were charged with third-degree assault, criminal mischief, harassment and child endangerment for the incident about 10 p.m. in the first block of Ullman.

The victim refused medical attention for herself and her son, who suffered a bump on his forehead when the three forced her car door open, police said.

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Donovan Drive woman tied to September stabbing

A Donovan Drive woman was taken into custody recently on assault and weapons charges, accused of stabbing a woman in the back during an argument last September.

Tonyatta Anderson, 22, allegedly stabbed another woman during a violent street argument at 9 p.m. Sept. 20 on Donovan Drive.

Police said the victim was taken to Erie County Medical Center and received 29 stitches.