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Two Erie County teens arraigned in Falls beating

LOCKPORT – Two Erie County 17-year-olds were arraigned in State Supreme Court Monday in connection with what the prosecutor called a “brutal assault” on a Niagara Falls man during what was supposed to be a $100 marijuana sale on Willow Avenue in that city Nov. 21.

Pleading not guilty to two counts each of first-degree robbery and one count of first-degree assault were Antoine D. Robinson of Gatchell Street, Buffalo and Angelo J. Hestor of Dumas Place, Town of Tonawanda. Niagara County Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann said Robinson was armed with a baseball bat and Hestor with a gun that may actually have been a BB gun.

Scheduled for arraignment Tuesday on the robbery charges only is Imani Hardy, 17, of Mohawk Parkway, Town of Niagara. Charges are pending against the alleged driver of the getaway car, Samantha C. Przybysz, 21, of Miller Avenue, Buffalo, but she is not named in the indictment, according to Hoffmann.

Hoffmann showed Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. photos of the victim, with one eye swollen shut and his face heavily bruised. Hoffmann said he suffered “air pockets on the brain” but seemed to be recovering. She also showed a cellphone photo of Robinson and Hestor posing with a gun and a bat, the latter object showing possible blood stains.

Robinson’s attorney, Daniel Dubois, told Kloch, “The alleged victim was a drug dealer who might be hesitant to come forward, based on the nature of his business. I don’t believe the people’s case is as strong as they say.” But Kloch granted Hoffmann’s bail requests: $50,000 for Robinson and $20,000 for Hestor.