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.


Buffalo police expect 5,000 to 10,000 law enforcement officers from across the United States and Canada to attend Officer Craig E. Lehner's funeral on Wednesday at the KeyBank Center, a Buffalo police official said Monday. Lehner's K-9 dog, Shield, will follow the casket into the arena for what could be the largest police funeral ever held in Western New York.  Membe…

Two new bridges on Bailey Avenue over the Buffalo River and Cazenovia Creek are expected to open to traffic this week, according to Rep. Brian Higgins' office. A pair of nearly 90-year-old bridges, located between Elk Street and McKinley Parkway, were replaced in the $22 million project. Construction began in July 2016. Thousands of motorists cross the bridges on a d…

How does a Buffalo Bills fan end up with a scorched Sammy Watkins jersey and rolling around in a pile of empty beer cups? Well, by jumping back-first onto a burning table while tailgating outside New Era Field in Orchard Park, of course. The antics of a few Bills fans drew national attention to Bills Mafia again Sunday when video of one fan setting himself on fire go…

A handwritten letter sat along the edge of the Niagara River in Broderick Park on Thursday morning. Below an American flag and beside a blue pumpkin and bouquets of flowers, the one-page note in blue cursive lettering was fastened to one of the bouquets. It was addressed to Buffalo Police Officer Craig E. Lehner. The author described herself as "a grateful Buffalo…

Due to the large number of people expected to pay their respects to Officer Craig Lehner at his calling hours next week, the City of Buffalo has arranged for a shuttle service to ferry the public from off-site parking to the Hamburg funeral home where the wake will be held. Calling hours will be held from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at Lakeside Memorial Funeral …

One of four planes taking 125 members of the New York Army National Guard left the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station on Thursday morning for Puerto Rico. Two more flights were scheduled to leave in the 11 o'clock hour, though the departure times were weather dependent. The final flight is scheduled to leave around midnight. Soldiers with the 152nd Engineer Support Co…

A 14-year-old student faces criminal charges after being accused of setting a paper towel on fire in a bathroom at Frederick Law Olmsted School at Kensington on Wednesday afternoon. A teacher noticed the smell of smoke before the fire alarm went off, school officials said in an email to parents. Students were evacuated from the school on Suffolk Street when the alarm we…

Buffalo Police Officer Craig E. Lehner's body was found Tuesday afternoon in the Niagara River, five days after he went missing during a training exercise for the department's Underwater Recovery Team. At 4:48 p.m. Tuesday, Buffalo Police broadcast an "end of watch" call, a tradition for a fallen police officer. "Radio to K-9 43," a Buffalo police dispatcher said, re…

A village public works garage in Arcade sustained about $3.25 million in damage in a fire Tuesday night, according to the Wyoming County Office of Emergency Services. Firefighters were called to the Arcade Department of Public Works garage, 2 Sullivan Ave., at 9:17 p.m. Investigators determined the fire was caused by a malfunction in a village electric department ser…

[UPDATE: Police sources say that Craig Lehner was alone in the water when his tender cable became hung up. Click here to read the latest news.] They vowed to bring their brother home. And, after five long days of searching the relentless Niagara River, the body of missing Buffalo Police diver Craig E. Lehner was finally found. Police made an official announcement jus…

The search for missing Buffalo Police diver Craig E. Lehner resumed Tuesday morning for the fifth consecutive day. Police Lt. Jeff Rinaldo said the search for the 34-year-old police officer, who vanished Friday afternoon during a training exercise in the Niagara River, has not been scaled back but that police are "redeploying assets" north and that new divers have joine…

Marilyn Manson will bring his Heaven Upside Down tour to the Rapids Theatre (1711 Main St.) in Niagara Falls on Feb. 9. The shock rocker, who recently cancelled nine tour dates after being injured in a stage accident, has rescheduled most of his U.S. tour dates for January and February, according to Rolling Stone. The Niagara Falls show wasn't part of the original tour,…

A Baker Victory Services employee faces a felony endangerment charge after police said he was found with marijuana and a teenage resident of the facility in his car, according to a police report. Edward Hill, 38, of Columbus Park, was arrested just before 7 p.m. Thursday after police stopped his car on Hopkins Street. A police lieutenant said he saw Hill's car pull out …

Six people, including a 13-year-old and a 5-year-old, were taken to area hospitals after a four-vehicle crash at the intersection of Main Street and Eggert Road on Friday morning, Amherst police said. The crash happened at 8:02 a.m., police said, and a portion of Main was closed to traffic for several hours between Eggert and Westfield roads, according to the state Dep…