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POLICE & COURTS - North Suburban

Trooper bitten by driver; Williamsville man charged

A state trooper from Niagara County was bitten on the arm Wednesday night while trying to subdue a driving-while-impaired suspect from Williamsville, who later surrendered to police after fleeing into the woods, state troopers at Niagara said.

Trooper Michael Catanzaro was treated in Mount St. Mary's Hospital, Lewiston, for abrasions and the bite following the incident in the Town of Wheatfield.

Catanzaro stopped a vehicle driven by Matthew Ruffino, 21, of Pasadena Place, at about 9:15 p.m. on Niagara Falls Boulevard near Shawnee Road. A struggle ensued, the trooper took the man to the ground and then was bitten, according to police reports.

The man fled into the woods, and when additional state troopers and Niagara County sheriff's deputies responded, Ruffino surrendered to Catanzaro.

Ruffino was charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, second-degree assault, resisting arrest, criminal possession of marijuana and other charges, Sgt. Kevin Anger of the State Police at Niagara said.

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Pedestrian struck, killed by car; no charges filed

DANSVILLE -- Harold Cork, 38, of Dansville, was pronounced dead at the scene Tuesday night after he was struck by a car as he walked across Route 36 near here in the Town of West Sparta, state troopers in Bath report.

The driver, Howard J. Burros, 51, of Amherst, told troopers that Cork walked into the path of his car shortly before 9 p.m. He was not charged.

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