Share this article

print logo

POLICE & COURTS

Soldier accused of killing Pvt. Lavrey is identified

The military has released the name of the soldier accused of killing a U.S. Army private from Cattaraugus County last month.

Pvt. John Hughes is charged with murder in the stabbing death May 13 of Thomas M. Lavrey at Fort Riley, Kan.

Hughes also has been charged with larceny and resisting arrest, military officials said.

Lavrey, 21, a West Seneca native living in Machias when he enlisted in 2010, was found unresponsive in his living quarters May 14. The Army said the investigation into the slaying continues.

Hughes is being held at Fort Leavenworth, also in Kansas.

Both soldiers were assigned to Special Troops Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. Lavrey worked as a utilities equipment repairman; Hughes, as a wheeled vehicle mechanic.

The name of the defendant was released after Lavrey's father, Dale, and stepmother, Barbara, expressed frustration about the lack of information regarding their son's death.

***

Arrest made in death of Clarence native

Police in Kansas have arrested a man in connection with the death of a Clarence native in February.

Iraq War veteran Justin P. Gonzalez, of Mission, Kan., whose age was unavailable, was charged Friday with reckless involuntary manslaughter in the death of Nicholas J. Sardina, 27, of Lawrence, Kan., the Kansas City Star reported over the weekend.

Police in Lawrence determined Sardina was involved in a fight several hours before he was found dead Feb. 25. His girlfriend said she received a text message from Sardina, saying a bottle had been broken over his head during the scuffle.

Sardina was a Clarence High School graduate who enlisted in the Army in 2005. He served in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2006 and 2007. He was honorably discharged from the Army in 2008 and began his studies at Kansas State University, where he spent two years before transferring to the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

***

Pavilion woman charged under Leandra's Law

A 40-year-old woman was charged Friday under Leandra's Law in Wyoming County after someone reported that she might be driving drunk with a 4-year-old passenger in the car.

After receiving the call, state troopers located the vehicle and driver in the parking lot of the Tops Market in Le Roy. The child was turned over to her child care provider at the scene, state police reported.

Angela R. Kruse, of Pavilion, was taken to the Warsaw barracks, where a breath test indicated her blood-alcohol content was 0.14 percent.

Kruse was arraigned in Le Roy Town Court and remanded to the Genesee County jail on $1,000 bail.

***

Laptop computer, $4,000 stolen from car of tourist

NIAGARA FALLS -- A tourist from Maryland reported $4,000 in cash stolen from his car Saturday while he was on a bus tour of the city and its attractions, police said.

The man left his rental van in the lot of Niagara Majestic Tours in the 6500 block of Niagara Falls Boulevard at 11 a.m. Saturday, returning about four hours later to find that someone had pried off a door lock and entered the vehicle. In addition to the money, an $830 laptop computer was stolen from the van, along with various personal effects.

***

Woman accused of injuring Buffalo police officer

A Hagen Street woman charged with assault is accused of injuring a Buffalo police officer as she was being driven to Erie County Medical Center.

Desiray A. Hall, 47, allegedly punched Officer Ann Vanyo in the head and right ear, causing a concussion, as she was being taken from the Erie County Holding Center for medical tests at ECMC at about 9:20 p.m. Wednesday, according to police. Earlier that day, Hall was charged with false personation, criminal contempt and obstruction of governmental administration after a traffic stop in the 900 block of Tonawanda Street.

***

Woman, dog are rescued from boat near Angola

A woman and her dog were rescued Saturday evening after her boat grounded in Lake Erie near Angola and started taking on water, the Coast Guard reported.

A Coast Guard crew tried to free the woman's boat at about 8 p.m. but was unable to because of the water depth. Instead, the woman and her dog were brought aboard the 33-foot Coast Guard boat because of concerns about the stability of her vessel.

The woman was wearing a life jacket. The Coast Guard did not release her name or age.

A commercial tow company arrived and was able to "refloat" the woman's boat.

"A lot of the time, we refer mariners in non-emergency situations to commercial salvage and assistance companies," said Petty Officer First Class Bradley Derflinger. "In this case, though, we felt the situation presented a reasonable amount of danger to those aboard, so we responded to assist them."

The Coast Guard recommends that boaters sign up for commercial tow and salvage services.