The case of a fatal carjacking was sent Friday to a Niagara County grand jury and the suspect was ordered held without bail.
Michael Guadagno, 40, of Zito Drive, was arraigned Friday in Niagara Falls City Court on charges of second-degree murder, second-degree robbery and driving while his ability was impaired by drugs.
City Court Judge Mark Violante waived a preliminary hearing and sent the case to a grand jury. Violante also declined to set bail, and Guadagno was remanded to the Niagara County Jail in Lockport.
Stanley Babi, 49, of Orleans Avenue, died after suffering multiple injuries as he was dragged for "three to five minutes" underneath the vehicle, police said Friday. County Coroner James M. Joyce said an autopsy Friday revealed that Babi sustained multiple fractures.
Babi was killed late Thursday when he apparently became entangled in a seat belt and was dragged underneath his wife's pickup truck after the carjacker pulled him out of the vehicle and drove off.
The police department's homicide squad and traffic crash management team continued their investigation Friday. Detective Capt. John Soltys said Officer James Reynolds discovered the carjacking at about 9:45 p.m. Thursday while on patrol at 19th Street and Ferry Avenue.
"He saw what appeared to be a body being dragged by a truck operated by a white male, and the man being dragged appeared to be alive," Soltys said.
As the truck stopped for a red light, Reynolds got out of his patrol car and ordered the man not to drive any farther. But the man took off at a high rate of speed, taking a circuitous route, sometimes going the wrong way on one-way streets, along side streets through the city's East Side and South End, Soltys said.
The chase ended on 10th Street near Walnut Avenue, when Roving Anti-Crime Unit Detective Joseph Giaquinto cut off the truck by pulling his unmarked car in front of the pickup, which struck it, Soltys said.
Giaquinto was released after treatment in Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center for what appeared to be minor injuries suffered when the truck hit the back of his police vehicle.
"It was the worst thing I've seen," one officer said.
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