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Plea bargains taken by 2 in summer unrest

Two people involved in a disturbance last summer that led to allegations of police brutality accepted plea bargains Wednesday in City Court.

The deals came after a city woman who accused police of brutality in her arrest was cleared of disorderly conduct charges following a jury trial last week.

Rhiannon R. Renouf, 23, of West Avenue pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge of disorderly conduct and accepted a one-year conditional discharge. She also was sentenced to five days of community service. Fines were waived.

Her brother, Raymond E. Renouf III, 19, of Washington Street, also pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. A more serious charge of resisting arrest was dropped in a plea deal. Police said after his arrest that he had to be subdued physically and maced to gain control.

Raymond Renouf also was granted a one-year conditional discharge. He was ordered to serve six days of community service and pay a $200 fine.

Meanwhile, a bench warrant was issued for a fourth person involved in the disturbance, Timothy McDowell, 28, of Center Street, who failed to answer charges in court. He is charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

McDowell's mother, Priscilla, 49, also of Center Street, was found not guilty by a jury Friday after 20 minutes of deliberations. Her attorneys accused Lockport police of treating everyone poorly during the July 17 incident, escalating a situation that was over before they arrived.

Priscilla McDowell was wrestled to the ground by Lt. Douglas Haak, who testified she refused his orders to leave the area of Washington and Allen streets, where her son had just been arrested.

"They should teach them not to be so aggressive and not so quick to arrest someone," McDowell told The Buffalo News after her acquittal. She has filed a notice of claim against the city, a preliminary step to suing a municipality.

Timothy McDowell was in City Court to support his mother at her trial but did not appear for his own hearing.

Rhiannon Renouf was pregnant when she was arrested for disorderly conduct during the July 17 incident. She was accused of yelling obscene language at the police.

e-mail: nfischer@buffnews.com

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