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TEEN PLEADS GUILTY IN FIGHT WITH OFFICER

A Niagara Falls youth pleaded guilty Friday to fighting with a police officer.

Damian Woodruff, 19, of Hyde Park Boulevard, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree assault. County Judge Pejter L. Broderick Sr. set sentencing for Aug. 17.

Woodruff was accused of battling Officer Anthony Catalano, who was trying to arrest him on another charge, on April 23. In the fracas, Catalano suffered head and eye injuries, according to court documents.

Another man who had a confrontation with police pleaded guilty before Broderick Friday and was also scheduled for sentencing Aug. 17.

Bernard P. Harper, 44, of LaSalle Avenue, admitted to attempted third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and driving while impaired.

Harper was arrested Jan. 28 when police tried to pull him over for running a red light on 24th Street. The arresting officer, James Conte, said he saw Harper throw a gun into the back seat before taking off on foot. Conte tackled Harper from behind, and the suspect suffered a split lip and loose teeth when his face hit the pavement.

The gun turned out to be a loaded Smith & Wesson .38-caliber that court papers said was "modified for machine-gun use."

In another assault case, Lance Krieger, 22, of Shimer Drive, drew jail time for violating the terms of an earlier suspended sentence.

Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza sent Krieger to the County Jail for 30 days for third-degree assault. Krieger had pleaded guilty to the beating of John Lewis of Lockport on Sweetwood Drive Nov. 22, 1999.

In January, the judge had given Krieger a 90-day suspended sentence and told him to spend 12 weekends in the county work program, but Krieger didn't show up.

In drug action, Sperrazza heard a guilty plea from Shanna Carr, 19, of Pierce Avenue, Niagara Falls.

Carr will be sentenced Sept. 7 for fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. She was accused of selling cocaine to Niagara Falls police agents on Oct. 7 and 13, 1999.

Meanwhile, Claude F. Wright Jr., 17, of Pine Street, pleaded not guilty to two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Wright was accused of having 0.55 ounces of cocaine with the intention of selling it Feb. 16 in Lockport.

Also Friday, Sperrazza placed two drunken drivers on probation.

Karl V. Williams, 44, of Spruce Avenue, Niagara Falls, will be on probation for five years for his guilty plea to a felony count of driving while intoxicated. He was arrested Nov. 29 in Niagara Falls. Williams was also fined $2,000 and ordered to serve 10 weekends in the County Jail. Sperrazza also ordered him to submit to alcohol tests, attend three Alcoholics Anonymous meetings a week and get a job.

In the other case, Robert J. Gronek, 42, of Ransom Street, North Tonawanda, received three years' probation and a $1,000 fine for a misdemeanor DWI. Gronek, who was pulled over Nov. 15, was ordered to spend eight weekends in the work program.

Two other DWI suspects pleaded not guilty at their arraignments Friday.

Michael J. Windnagle, 45, of Chestnut Ridge Road, Royalton, faces a nine-count indictment stemming from an accident April 7 at Main and Pine streets in Lockport. After his auto collided with another, Windnagle allegedly ran a couple of blocks before police caught him.

He is charged with felony DWI, first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, failure to yield the right of way, leaving the scene of an accident, drinking in a vehicle, and having no inspection, no insurance, no registration and switched plates.

In another case, Robert G. Dispenza, 45, of Sommer Street, North Tonawanda, was indicted on a felony DWI charge, along with speeding and failure to keep right. He was arrested Feb. 15.

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