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POLICE & COURTS

>Teenager beats woman and steals her purse

A 71-year-old South Buffalo woman was beaten and mugged by a teenage assailant Saturday afternoon, city police said.

The victim told investigators that the mugger, who was about 5-foot-4 and wearing a hooded sweat shirt, attacked her at 4:50 p.m. on South Park Avenue.

She said the teen pushed her to the ground and punched her repeatedly in the head, causing a large lump and swelling, as well as cuts and bruises to her right hand and leg.

The suspect ran off with the woman's purse, which contained several credit cards, her identification and the keys to her home.

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>Armed robbers take $400 from hair salon

Two masked men robbed an Allentown hair salon packed with customers getting primped Saturday evening for New Year's Eve parties, police said.

Detective Sgt. Tom Vivian of the Major Crime Unit said the robbers hit Precision Cuts at 25 Allen St. just after 6 p.m.

Both men wore gloves, and one displayed a handgun, police said.

The two fled with $400 in cash. No one was injured.

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>Ski-masked trio invades Tonawanda Street home

Three men broke into a Tonawanda Street house Friday and accosted a 2-year-old girl, demanding money from her mother, Buffalo police said.

The mother, 23, told police the three, wearing ski masks, climbed through her kitchen window about 7:25 a.m., when they grabbed the girl by the neck and demanded money. They searched the house but found no money and fled through the same window, the victim told police.

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>Dunkirk killing prompts call for public's help

DUNKIRK -- Chautauqua County sheriff's deputies are looking to the public for help in finding the killer of William Taft Sr.

Taft, 54, of Middle Road, was reported missing to Dunkirk police Dec. 2. His body was found Monday in a vineyard off William Road, between Route 60 and South Roberts Road.

Authorities said late last week that Taft was stabbed to death. They are asking that anyone who saw him between Nov. 30 and Dec. 2 contact the Sheriff's Department at 363-4232 or Dunkirk police at 366-2266.

Deputies said information will be kept confidential.

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>Robbery by gunman with crowbar reported

A South Buffalo man reported to city police that he was robbed by a man armed with a gun and a crowbar who had been waiting for him in his van while at Clark Street and Paderewski Drive on the East Side.

The victim said the suspect grabbed his neck with the crowbar and demanded money owed to him for crack cocaine, according to police reports.

The victim refused, and the suspect pulled out a gun and forced the victim to strip to his underwear, he told officers. The gunman then broke out four windows of the van and fled with the victim's driver's license and bank card.

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>Border agents charge man with gun offense

NIAGARA FALLS -- U.S. Customs inspectors said they arrested a Byrd Avenue man at the Rainbow Bridge early Saturday and accused him of trying to enter the country with a 9mm Luger handgun.

Alfred Bazemore, 33, was arrested at 12:30 a.m. after a secondary inspection on the bridge revealed the gun and seven rounds of ammunition, agents said. Bazemore was charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, according to agents.

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>Falls suspect sought after eluding police

NIAGARA FALLS -- A city man, out on bail while awaiting trial on a federal weapons-possession charge, eluded police officers on foot early Saturday after leading them on a lengthy car chase, according to reports.

Police said they began pursuing a car after the driver squealed his tires while leaving the Third Street bar strip about 3:30 a.m.

The driver and a passenger left the vehicle and fled on foot near Hyde Park Golf Course. Police said they chased the driver through yards, nearly catching him as he scaled a 6-foot-tall fence behind a North Avenue home.

The passenger was caught. Police said city resident Lindsay Carrier Jr. was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Officers said they have obtained a warrant charging the driver, whom they were still seeking later Saturday, with at least 16 offenses.

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>Man tumbles from wheelchair in camcorder robbery

Two men knocked a 34-year-old Buffalo man out of his wheelchair Saturday morning on North Street and stole his camcorder, city police said.

The victim said the men attacked him at 5:52 a.m. and took his $99 Apex Camcorder, in addition to a knit cap and ball cap, both red, and his prescription glasses.

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