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Street memorial for Niagara Falls homicide victim ends with two arrests

Jose Hewitt

A gathering billed as a memorial to a Niagara Falls homicide victim ended with two arrests, according to city police.

Members of a car club congregated on Pine Avenue Thursday night to remember Jose Hewitt, who was killed Wednesday night during an armed robbery at his apartment building.

The car club members performed "burnouts," revved their engines and squealed their tires in front of Hewitt's residence.

And according to police and city officials, they damaged a police vehicle and the roadway. Damage done to the street was estimated at about $2,000 by Niagara Falls Public Works Director John P. Caso, according to a police report.

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster took to Twitter later in the evening to ask those looking to remember Hewitt "to find an appropriate way to mourn."

Angel L. Rivera-Cruz, 26, of Niagara Falls, was charged with second-degree criminal mischief and reckless driving. He was also ticketed for the "unsafe movement of a stopped motor vehicle," according to a police report.

Kyle K. Zorich, 22, of North Tonawanda, was accused of nearly striking police officers while he was doing burnouts, according to a report. Zorich was charged with reckless driving, unsafe movement of a stopped motor vehicle, failure to use a turn signal and driving without insurance.

Imalay Melendez, 23, of Niagara Falls, was ticketed for backing into a marked police cruiser. Melendez scraped a rear bumper, with the damage described as minor, according to police officials. Officers issued her two tickets and she was released.

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