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Guilty plea is entered in Hickory St. gunfire

A man who fired nearly a dozen rounds from a 9 mm handgun outside JFK Community Center hours after a nonviolence rally July 21 pleaded guilty Monday to weapons and crack cocaine charges in that and other recent crimes.

David R. Harper, 21, of Hollister Street, was told by State Supreme Court Justice Joseph S. Forma that he faces a 12-year prison term when sentenced Dec. 16.

Harper did not explain the noon-hour gunfire, which sent 35 children running for cover. No one was injured by the outburst.

Harper has been jailed since his arrest about a half-hour after the incident outside the center at 114 Hickory St.

His guilty plea also covers a felony weapons count linked to an April 25 robbery on Grant Street and drug charges stemming from possession of crack cocaine in a Cornwall Avenue home May 5.

Harper was jailed pending his sentencing.

The gunfire came about two hours after police and community leaders gathered at the community center July 21 to begin a lawn sign campaign to curb violence in the neighborhood, with "Non Violence Begins With Me" signs printed up to be posted on lawns across the city.

Two accused of stealing 50 street signs

Two Buffalo men were arrested for allegedly stealing 50 street signs Monday from a City of Buffalo garage at 1120 Seneca St.

James R. Self, 33, of Frank Avenue, and Christopher M. Roberts, 33, of Princeton Place, were charged with felony criminal possession of stolen property.

Ferry-Fillmore District Officers Daniel O'Neill and Alphonso Wright said that Self and Roberts were arrested and the signs were recovered at 8:40 p.m. at a scrap yard on Metcalfe Street.

The stop signs and one-way signs are valued at about $1,000.

Office equipment taken in school break-in

A burglar broke into Waterfront School, 95 Fourth St., and stole several pieces of office equipment, Buffalo police said. The school is undergoing extensive renovations, and its students are attending classes elsewhere.

A site manager for LP Ciminelli Construction told police today that someone entered the building sometime between Friday and Monday and stole two computers, a color printer and three office phones and damaged a protective solar cover.

41-month prison term set for child pornography

A Town of Tonawanda man has been sentenced to 41 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara for possessing child pornography.

Michael Ulrich, 34, had pleaded guilty Feb. 8 to possessing numerous images of child pornography on his home computer, according to acting U.S. Attorney Kathleen M. Mehltretter.

The case was investigated by the FBI.

Former roofer awarded $2.2 million in lawsuit

Jonathan A. Szuba, whose career as a roofer was ended when he fell off the roof of a house being built by Marrano Marc Equity Corp. in Cheektowaga four years ago, has accepted a $2.275 million insurance settlement, his lawyers said Monday.

Mark S. Perla and Jeffrey A. Perla said Szuba, 25, of Depew, should get his full settlement payment from carriers for Marrano Marc Equity and Big G Roofing within the next 21 days.

The settlement was worked out after jury selection had been completed for Szuba's unsafe-workplace suit before State Supreme Court Justice Kevin M. Dillon, Mark Perla said.

Szuba, who has to take pain medication for the rest of his life and is restricted to nonphysical work, fell 25 feet from the roof of a house being built in a development on Parwood Terrace, Cheektowaga, at about 9 a.m. Feb. 16, 2001, Jeffrey Perla said.

After surgery on his lower back, Szuba was told by doctors he can never return to roofing work, the attorneys said.

Victim of stabbing undergoing treatment

A Buffalo man was stabbed in his right shoulder at 5:30 p.m. Monday during a confrontation with two other men at Broadway and Fillmore Avenue, police said.

Gerald Heard, 28, was undergoing treatment in the Erie County Holding Center, Ferry-Fillmore District police said.

Two accused of burying hazardous materials

LOCKPORT -- Two men were arraigned Monday in Niagara County Court on charges of illegally burying more than 1,000 pounds of hazardous materials that leaked into ground water in Hartland.

Randy P. Maedl, 51, of Bradley Road, Hartland, and Remigius Czekaj, 69, of Mapleton Road, Pendleton, pleaded not guilty to six counts each of endangering public health, safety or the environment.

District Attorney Matthew J. Murphy III said Czekaj is accused of paying Maedl $300 to bury more than half a ton of paint solvents on Maedl's property between June 4 and 16, 2004.

Murphy said water in nearby farm wells might have been affected.

Four of the counts against each man are felonies and two are misdemeanors. The most serious carry a maximum penalty of seven years in prison.

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