Aaron Besecker, The Buffalo News
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Aaron Besecker

Aaron Besecker is a breaking news and criminal justice reporter for The Buffalo News. He has been a News staff reporter since '07.


Chuck E. Cheese's is breaking up the band. You know, the animatronic one. The national pizza restaurant and arcade chain known for hosting kids' birthday parties has announced it is redesigning several of its locations across the country. In those plans, the robot animal musicians — including Jasper T. Jowls, Mr. Munch and Helen Henny — are being scrapped in favo…

An Uber driver was robbed in Allentown early Friday morning, according to a Buffalo police report. The 39-year-old victim told police he picked up a passenger on Allen Street, just west of Elmwood Avenue, at about 3 a.m., according to the report. The passenger then punched the driver in the back of the head and took cash before running south on Elmwood. The victim's …

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster and other community leaders will hold a rally Friday morning to denounce hate, extremism and bigotry, the mayor's office said. The event will be held at 10:30 a.m. at the entrance to Niagara Falls State Park at the foot of Old Falls Street. It's being held simultaneously with similar events around the country called for by the U.S. Con…

The Miss New York pageant will be held at Shea's Performaing Arts Center next year, organizers have announced. The last several Miss New York pageants have been held at the St. George Theatre in Staten Island. Gabrielle Walter, a Clarence native and University at Buffalo law student, was crowned Miss New York in May. She will compete in the Miss America pageant in Se…

A 22-year-old man was shot in the buttocks early Thursday morning on 19th Street, according to a Niagara Falls police report. The victim told police he heard a vehicle pull up behind him at about 12:30 a.m. on 19th Street, between Ferry and Walnut avenues, while he was walking home, according to the report. He told officers he heard two shots and started running unti…

Up to a $7,500 reward is being offered for information about a January homicide in Buffalo. Paul J. Byrd, 46, was shot in front of his home on Cornwall Avenue on Jan. 9. Crime Stoppers Buffalo is offering up to $1,000, Buffalo Police are offering up to $1,500 and an unnamed private citizen is offering up to $5,000. Anyone who provides information that leads to…

A truck driver has been charged with manslaughter in connection with a fatal Thruway crash in June that killed a University at Buffalo Nursing School faculty member. Kristofer M. Gregorek, 27, of Ballston Spa, who police said was using his cell phone to shop when the accident occurred, was charged Thursday with second-degree manslaughter in the June 8 crash that killed …

A Buffalo man was charged Wednesday with menacing and child endangerment after a woman told police another motorist had threatened her with a switchblade. The road-rage incident happened at about noon near Delaware and Forest avenues, according to a Buffalo police report. The victim told police the driver - identified as Gregory R. Campeau, 40, of Buffalo - was tailg…

State police on Monday arrested a Buffalo woman on a felony driving while intoxicated charge stemming from an Aug. 10 crash in Chautauqua County. Megan Swan, 26, crossed into the path of another vehicle on Frew Run Road in Frewsberg and was taken to WCA Hospital in Jamestown for treatment of what police described as non-life-threatening injuries, New York State Poli…

Katy Perry's Sept. 16 concert at KeyBank Center in Buffalo has been canceled due to "production delays," the venue announced Thursday morning. Tickets will be refunded at the point of purchase. In a written statement attributed to Perry, the singer said production delays prevented rehearsals from beginning until this week. A rescheduled date for the concert could …

A Kenmore woman has been charged after she tried to sell an 8-week old arctic fox on Craigslist, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The female pup was advertised for sale for $600, according to a copy of the ad provided by the department. The DEC identified the woman as Kimberly Marlin, 30. State Environmental Conservation Officer…

A police pursuit through several municipalities Thursday morning ended when the driver crashed in Hamburg. Police have closed the area around the crash - on Willet Road and McKinley Parkway on the Hamburg-Lackawanna border - to traffic. Police have not released many details about what happened, but it appears the driver of a yellow Ford Mustang led Erie County Sherif…

Cheektowaga police have released images of the vehicle they believe struck and killed a pedestrian on Genesee Street on Aug. 8. Police also released pictures of a small piece of a car part found at the scene. Investigators are hoping the public can help identify the make and model of the vehicle from the images. The vehicle involved will have front-end dam…

A tractor-trailer driver from Nova Scotia wrecked his rig full of produce at about 8:40 a.m. Wednesday while trying to squeeze beneath the Grand Island bridges in Niagara Falls. The route onto the Niagara Scenic Parkway, where commercial traffic is prohibited, passes underneath the north bridges connecting the Falls and Grand Island. The roadway is accessible via an exi…