MAN ACCUSED OF DRIVING 2 DAYS FOR TRYST WITH GIRL
A man who allegedly drove from Montana to Cheektowaga to have sex with a 13-year-old girl he met on the Internet was arrested over the weekend by FBI agents and Cheektowaga police.
Authorities said Charles E. Hawkins Jr., 48, who lives in Toledo, Ohio, but was traveling from Montana, was arrested by a team of agents and detectives at a Cheektowaga fast-food restaurant Saturday night.
He was arraigned Sunday in Cheektowaga Town Court on state charges of endangerment of a child and disseminating information about a minor. Buffalo FBI spokesman Paul M. Moskal said Hawkins also will face federal charges filed by the U.S. attorney's office.
"He apparently drove all the way from Montana, for two straight days, to come to this meeting," said Cheektowaga police Capt. James Morath. "He had been in touch with a (Cheektowaga) girl over the Internet for the past three weeks."
Police said Hawkins, whom they described as married with children of his own, claimed he traveled to Western New York to "counsel" the girl, rather than to have sex with her.
An undercover FBI agent assigned to a cybercrimes unit had been posing as the girl and had been communicating with Hawkins by computer for several days, Moskal said.
Police said the girl's father contacted Cheektowaga police last week after becoming alarmed by a telephone conversation he overheard between his daughter and the man.
Moskal said Hawkins could face a mandatory minimum prison term of five years if convicted of traveling interstate to have sex with a minor.
TRAPPED MAN RESCUED FROM GORGE, TICKETED
A City of Tonawanda man, trapped on a ledge in the Niagara Gorge at about noon Sunday, was rescued by emergency workers, then given an appearance ticket for a park violation, Town of Lewiston police said.
Michael F. Abramo, 36, called for help on his cell phone after being trapped between the upper and lower paths along the gorge.
Officer John Penzotti of the Town of Lewiston police found Abramo just south of the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, worked his way down to him and stayed with him until volunteer firefighters arrived.
MAN ARRESTED IN CRASH OF STOLEN CAR ON THRUWAY
A Rochester man was accused Sunday of driving a stolen car while drunk and crashing the vehicle in the Town of Newstead, according to state troopers in Batavia.
William Brockington, 37, was charged with criminal possession of stolen property, felony driving while intoxicated and felony aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.
Troopers were called at 9:44 a.m. to respond to a report of a one-car rollover on the westbound Thruway, after which the driver fled on foot.
Troopers discovered that the vehicle, a 1994 Lexus, was reported stolen Saturday in Rochester.
Police said Brockington was located in the area attempting to obtain a ride to Buffalo.
He was arraigned in Newstead Town Court and was being held in the Erie County Holding Center.
MISSING ALBION WOMAN FOUND DEAD IN HER CAR
GAINES -- An 80-year-old missing Albion woman was found dead in her car Sunday, said Albion police. Foul play is not suspected and an autopsy will be performed, police said.
Family members told police that Dorothy E. Dickinson suffered from dementia and was last seen in her home at 11:30 p.m. Thursday as she was going to bed.
Albion police Staff Sgt. Timothy Boyer said a hunter discovered her at about 12:33 p.m. inside her 1999 Buick in a field about three miles from her home.
KNIFE-WIELDING RAPIST OF 2 IS SENT TO PRISON
A Hudson Street man was ordered Monday to spend the next 15 years in prison for knifepoint sex attacks on two women he coaxed to his flat after meeting them at the downtown bus terminal last year.
Saleem Roundtree, 27, told State Supreme Court Justice Ronald H. Tills he was sorry for his actions. Tills, without comment, imposed the prison term on Roundtree's pretrial plea to two felony attempted sodomy charges.
Prosecutor Scott F. Riordan said the unemployed Roundtree managed to coax an 18-year-old woman back to his flat for drinks on March 15, 2003, only to pull out a knife and sexually assault her before she managed to escape.
A 21-year-old Chautauqua County woman was talked by Roundtree into coming back to his flat late on May 11, 2003, to help him with his medication after he faked an asthma attack at the bus terminal, Riordan said. She was also assaulted at knifepoint, the prosecutor said.