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POLICE & COURTS - Niagara

Falls man pleads guilty to grand larceny

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man who collected state unemployment benefits for more than a year, even though he was working, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge Wednesday in Niagara County Court.

Corey N. Yamamura, 27, of Ferry Avenue, is to be sentenced for attempted fourth-degree grand larceny Nov. 16 by Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr.

State Police said when they arrested him in May that Yamamura had collected $4,830 in benefits from March 2003 to April 2004, while he was working at two Erie County companies -- in customer service at ICT Group in Amherst and later in technical support at Client Logic in Buffalo.

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Assault leads to 6-count indictment

LOCKPORT -- David J. Lake, 25, of Pomeroy Avenue, Town of Niagara, pleaded not guilty to a six-count indictment accusing him of assaulting a woman twice in April.

Lake is charged with two counts of third-degree assault and single counts of third-degree menacing, second-degree unlawful imprisonment and first- and second-degree criminal contempt of court.

On April 10 in North Tonawanda, Lake allegedly slapped, punched and choked the woman and held her on the ground. The next day, violating a court order, he allegedly called her and gestured to her from his truck. On April 30, Lake allegedly slammed the woman's head into a brick wall.

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School vandal damage estimated at $100,000

LOCKPORT -- A vandal caused about $100,000 in damage late Monday to 10 rooms, including several classrooms, in Emmet Belknap Middle School, Lockport School Superintendent Bruce T. Fraser reported Wednesday to the School Board.

The damage could have been much more extensive, he said, if the school's custodial staff had not intervened.

"They chased him, and tackled him and held him for police," Fraser said.

Officer Steve Abbott said police arrived at the school at about 8 p.m. to find janitorial workers sitting on Isiah Pendleton, 19, of Walnut Street.

Pendleton was charged with burglary and felony criminal mischief, Abbott said.

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Towson Ave. businesses report thefts in Falls

NIAGARA FALLS -- City police were investigating thefts of hardware, supplies and a van at two businesses on Tomson Avenue, off Niagara Falls Boulevard. Losses were estimated to exceed $4,000.

Saraceni Pools, 4826 Tomson Ave., reported Wednesday that a 1988 van, which contained pool supplies and a cordless drill, had been stolen. It had been parked next to a building and locked.

Tomson Windows, 4829 Tomson Ave., reported that someone broke a padlock on a back door and took four rolls of trim coil, an aluminum bending break, an 8-foot step ladder and hand tools from a utility van.

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One kidnapping suspect admits a lesser charge

LOCKPORT -- One of four suspects in the kidnapping of a Caledonia Street man pleaded guilty Tuesday in Niagara County Court.

Deion Wood, 24, of Rochester, admitted to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree burglary and was scheduled for sentencing Dec. 2 by Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza.

Charges are pending against three other Rochester residents -- Dominique Hall, 20, Michael Burrows, 19, and Mickel Leonard II, 21 -- in the June 2 abduction of Victor Johnson, 38, from his home.

Johnson was rescued by police after his children called 911. Hall and Johnson are among co-defendants in an identity theft scheme that allegedly got over $10,000 from area banks.

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Teen admits to stabbing of another during fight

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls teenager admitted Tuesday in Niagara County Court that he stabbed another youth March 26 in a Michigan Avenue melee.

Duron J. Cox, 17, of Linwood Avenue, is to be sentenced for attempted second-degree assault Nov. 15 by Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr.

Police said Cox stabbed Anthony Hill, 15, of Lockport Street, in the chest as Hill was using a telephone. About 15 youths had shown up for a planned brawl. Hill suffered a collapsed lung.

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Falls man pleads guilty to weapon charge

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man admitted to a misdemeanor gun charge Tuesday in Niagara County Court.

Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza set sentencing for Nov. 15 for Shawn M. Sanders, 32, of Packard Road, who pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Sanders admitted illegally having a .38-caliber handgun in Niagara Falls Dec. 27.

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Lockport woman pleads guilty to drug charge

LOCKPORT -- A Bewley Parkway woman pleaded guilty in Niagara County Court Tuesday to charges that she had crack cocaine in her home.

Tabitha L. Longfield, 21, was arrested June 9 in a police raid. County Drug Task Force officers seized .66 ounces of crack and arrested Longfield and Rico L. Freeman, 21, of Tudor Lane.

Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. will sentence Longfield Nov. 15 for attempted fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance. Charges are pending against Freeman.

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