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POLICE & COURTS - FINAL

Youth swimming drowns off foot of Porter Ave.

The body of a 16-year-old swimmer was recovered Sunday afternoon about 20 yards from where he had been swimming with his brother off the foot of Porter Avenue.

The U.S. Coast Guard received the distress call at 2:15 p.m. and recovered the body at 3:41, said James Cox, of the Search and Rescue Control operations center.

"He didn't go very far," Cox said of the victim, Gene Long. "The currents there tend to pull you under and keep you there."

In addition to sending two boats, the Coast Guard diverted a Border Patrol helicopter and Erie County Air One.

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Rescuers search river for possible victim

Rescuers were busy Sunday night searching for a possible victim after a 911 caller reported hearing splashing water and yelling near the Niagara River and Black Rock channel, authorities reported.

The search came just a few hours after 16-year-old Gene Long drowned Sunday while swimming with his brother off the foot of Porter Avenue.

At about 8 p.m., the Buffalo fire department alerted U.S. Coast Guard Station Buffalo that a caller heard someone in the water and yelling for help, according to Petty Officer Michael Dugas of the Coast Guard.

For about two hours, two boats from the U.S. Coast Guard, Erie County Sheriff's Air One helicopter and Border Patrol's boat and helicopter searched the waters to no avail.

Dugas said the search was called off at about 10 p.m. because they had no further evidence to corroborate that someone was missing.

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New Orleans man staying in Buffalo is stabbed

A New Orleans man who is staying with relatives in Buffalo was stabbed on Franklin Street early Sunday morning.

George G. Lawless, 21, was in stable condition in Erie County Medical Center after the attack at 2 a.m. Central District officers said he was walking on Franklin near Chippewa Street when he had words with two men.

Lawless was stabbed twice in the left side and once in the left leg by one of the men.

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50 No Parking signs painted red by vandals

About 50 No Parking signs were painted red over the weekend in the Forest-Bird area, according to Northwest District officers.

Vandals with red paint hit Forest Avenue and Delaware Avenue and the cross streets of Berkley Place, Windsor Avenue and Clarendon Place, as well as Bird Avenue, police said.

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Church burglar rifles credit union office

An intruder with a sledge hammer broke into Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 1525 Michigan Ave., early Sunday and rifled the credit union office.

Ferry-Fillmore District officers said the burglar broke a glass block window at 2:30 a.m. and, going upstairs, broke into the office and went through file cabinets, desks and a cash drawer. An inventory is being taken.

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Better Buy Market robbed of $240

A man armed with a handgun robbed a small grocery store on Genesee Street on Sunday night, police said.

Ferry-Fillmore District police said a man entered Better Buy Market, 2005 Genesee St., at about 9:30 p.m. and confronted the clerk.

Police said the man, wearing a red bandanna over his face and a dark hooded sweat shirt, stole about $240 from two registers and ran away.

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Man assaulted when chasing burglar

A Portland Street man was assaulted Sunday after he decided to run after a burglar who broke into his apartment, police said.

South District Police said the victim encountered a burglar at about 9 p.m. in the hallway of his apartment. The front door had been pried open.

The chase proceeded to Kimberly Avenue and McKinley Parkway.

While the man was calling 911 on his cell phone, police said, the burglar rammed into him, and then kept running. A television set valued at $500 was missing, but reports did not make it clear whether it was taken before the chase.

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Scam e-mail imitating Salvation Army probed

The FBI is investigating a fraudulent e-mail soliciting money for the Salvation Army.

Sent from americansalvationarmyreliefs@yahoo.com, the e-mail is circulating on the Internet and suggests it is from the organization's national headquarters. Potential donors are instructed to give money through transfers, mail or credit card.

The Salvation Army never asks for credit card information to be sent via e-mail, officials said. The correct way to make a credit card donation is through the Salvation Army's secure Web site: www.salvationarmyusa.org, by calling (800) SAL-ARMY or through the mail, addressed to the local Salvation Army office.

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