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POLICE & COURTS

SEARCH CONTINUING FOR MISSING WOMAN

Friends and relatives resumed their search for a missing Blasdell woman this morning, while Town of Hamburg police continued their hunt for any clues into her disappearance over the weekend.

Investigators suspect possible foul play in the disappearance of Michelle Piwowar, 35, who was last seen in her White Street home late Friday night or early Saturday morning.

Family members and friends met at 8 a.m. today at South Park Avenue and Lake Street, not far from her home, in their continuing search for Piwowar. Police and Piwowar's friends previously have searched several areas, including the Botanical Gardens, Tifft Farm, a Lackawanna playground and a waterfront area where her husband, Robert, has been known to jog.

"We're trying to focus on any area that he or she has frequented," Capt. A. Daniel Shea said today.

Town of Hamburg police have arrested Robert Piwowar on a felony criminal contempt charge for violating an order of protection, they said. No charges have been filed in connection with his wife's disappearance.

MAN IN FAIR CONDITION AFTER BEING SHOT

A 39-year-old man was listed in fair condition today after he was shot Tuesday night at a home in the 200 block of Loepere Street, police said.

Timothy Woodard, of Swan Street, was being treated in the Erie County Medical Center.

Ferry-Fillmore officers said the victim was shot at about 5:30 p.m. at 242 Loepere. No arrest has been made.

JURY ACQUITS MAN, 22, OF ATTEMPTED MURDER

Michael Stubbs was released from custody Tuesday after an Erie County Court jury cleared him of a charge of attempted murder of a man in a West Side pizzeria in the spring.

County Judge Sheila A. DiTullio ordered Stubbs released after he was found not guilty of attempted murder, assault and a weapons charge in the shooting of Irvine Mitchell, 20, inside Zip's Pizza at 409 Grant St. at about 5 p.m. May 3.

Stubbs, 22, declined to comment, but attorney Nelson S. Torre said the alleged investigative errors in the case that he uncovered convinced him that "the Police Department really needs to begin policing themselves."

Though Mitchell identified Stubbs as the masked man he said shot him from behind, Torre presented medical evidence showing the victim was shot in the leg and thigh from the front with a gun that was never recovered.

MAN JAILED IN ROBBERY OF STAND, OTHER THEFTS

A Rochester man who robbed a Buffalo courthouse snack stand run by a sight-impaired man was sentenced Tuesday to two to four years in prison by a judge who denounced him as a "bottom feeder."

Dennis Young, 44, of Central Park, Rochester, was sentenced by State Supreme Court Justice Joseph S. Forma on his guilty pleas to felony stolen property and petit larceny charges for the thefts of $1,500 in clothing from several Lockport stores and $200 cash from the Erie County Court snack stand.

Young has been jailed since his arrest July 20 -- four days after he stole the cash from the register of J.R.'s Snax on the first floor of the courthouse.

The judge also ordered that $200 be deducted from Young's prison wages to repay stand operator Rich Simpson.

MAN SHOT ON LORING AVE. REMAINS IN HOSPITAL

A 48-year-old man remained in fair condition today after he was was shot Monday night outside of his Loring Avenue home, police said.

Jerome C. Crosby is being treated in the Erie County Medical Center for a single gunshot wound to his head.

Police said Crosby was shot at about 11 p.m. as he got out of his vehicle after pulling into his driveway at 161 Loring.

MAN ARRESTED; GIRLFRIEND SAID SHOTS WERE FIRED

A Riley Street man was arrested Tuesday after his girlfriend said shots were fired during a struggle over a .22 rifle.

The woman said that the man pulled the rifle on her and that when she grabbed the gun, it went off, striking the ceiling.

Central District officers were called to the house at Riley and Ellicott streets at 3:30 p.m. They said a rifle was found under the couch. They charged Robert A. Gordon, 51, with felony weapon possession, felony reckless endangerment and menacing.

DRUGGED COFFEE LED TO RAPE, WOMAN REPORTS

A 23-year-old woman told police Tuesday that she was raped after letting a man spike her coffee with an unknown drug in a Delaware Avenue coffee shop.

The woman said she had a headache and trusted a stranger to give her a drug for it late Monday afternoon. She said she woke up in an apartment on Maryland Street near Cottage Street without any clothes on. Central District officers said the woman was treated in Buffalo General Hospital and the Sex Offense Squad was notified.

SHOTS FIRED OUTSIDE STORE DAMAGE OWNER'S VAN

Four shots were fired outside Bill's Candy & Grocery at 544 Fargo Ave. on Tuesday, shattering windows in the owner's parked van.

Muftah R. Mohamad told Northwest District officers the shots were fired shortly after midnight. A white Nissan Pathfinder was seen leaving the scene.

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