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Suspect in Zoe restaurant shooting charged in more crimes

The man accused of the violent robbery of a Clarence restaurant in September was arraigned in Erie County Court Wednesday on 10 charges connected with four separate crimes, including the robbery.

Christopher Boyd, 36, of East Utica Street, faces charges of attempted murder, assault in the first degree, three counts of robbery in the first degree, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, two counts of burglary and one count of resisting arrest. He pleaded not guilty to all counts.

Boyd is accused of pulling a gun on Zoe restaurant owner Alexander J. Pozantidis at about 11 p.m. on Sept. 4, as Pozantidis was leaving the restaurant at 5711 Transit Road with the day’s receipts in a briefcase.

Although Pozantidis handed over the briefcase containing $25,000 to $30,000, the robber fired at him anyway, striking the man in the arm and chest. Pozantidis’s wife was nearby and the robber also fired in her direction. She was unhurt and quickly called for help. Her husband survived the shooting.

Boyd once worked at the restaurant and investigators believe he was familiar with the closing routine.

Christopher Boyd has been charged with first-degree attempted murder. (Photo provided by New York State Police)

Boyd also is accused of two back-to-back crimes on July 28. Paul C. Parisi, chief of the District Attorney’s Tactical Prosecution Unit, said Boyd broke into a Riverside Drive home that day, burglarized the residence and assaulted the homeowner, whom he knew. A short time later, Boyd allegedly used a gun to car jack a vehicle from a woman. That crime was captured on video, Parisi said.

During this time police already were looking for Boyd on a warrant from a parole violation. They finally caught up with him Nov. 9 at a deli on Grant Street in Black Rock. Police said that when they identified themselves, Boyd reached for his waistband. Officers tackled him and found he was carrying a loaded .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol.

Parisi asked Judge Sheila A. DiTullio to deny bail, noting that Boyd has two prior violent felony convictions and, if convicted on even one of the current charges, could face spending the rest of his life in prison.

“He is a serious flight risk. He has demonstrated that,” Parisi said.

DiTullio agreed and ordered that Boyd remain in jail.

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