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POLICE & COURTS

>State trooper arrests man on lewdness charge

A Gowanda man was arrested Sunday morning after a trooper found him parked in his vehicle "performing a lewd act while at the same time exposing himself to the public," state police reported.

Jeffrey A. Antonelli, 35, of Aldrich Street, was charged with public lewdness.

Troopers from Troop T said Trooper Matthew Stegner was patrolling the Thruway when he observed a vehicle in the westbound rest area in Eden at 3:26 a.m.

Troopers said Stegner approached the vehicle and witnessed Antonelli performing a lewd act and exposing himself. Authorities also reported that Antonelli had a pair of binoculars and several pornographic magazines on the passenger side of the vehicle.

Antonelli was arrested and released on his own recognizance. He is scheduled to appear March 28 in Eden Town Court.

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>Family of four escapes Town of Tonawanda fire

A couple, their two children and four pets are safe after an electrical malfunction caused a fire in their Town of Tonawanda home early Sunday, fire officials said. No injuries were reported.

Felix Coniglio, chief of the Kenmore Fire Department, said flames ignited at 375 W. Girard Boulevard, near Military Road, at about 2:30 a.m. after an exhaust fan in a first-floor bathroom had an electrical short. The malfunction caused flames to "spread through the ceiling and work itself up to the second floor and roof," he said.

At the time of the fire, the woman of the house was on the computer when she smelled smoke and alerted her sleeping husband and children. All four of them evacuated their home with their two dogs.

Kenmore firefighters and Kenilworth Fire Company responded, extinguished the fire and removed the family's two cats from the basement.

Coniglio said damage was estimated at $70,000 to the building and $30,000 to contents.

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>Man charged with stalking, breaking two windows

Buffalo police arrested a 19-year-old man Sunday on charges of stalking a Lark Street woman and smashing two of her windows with a brick.

Northeast District officers arrested Jerome Rhodes, of Northampton Street, after the woman said she saw him run to his 1998 Buick and leave shortly after her front windows were smashed late Sunday morning. She told police that Rhodes wants to have a relationship with her and has repeatedly harassed and threatened her. Rhodes was charged with stalking, aggravated harassment and criminal mischief.

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>Pregnant woman struck in stomach, hospitalized

NIAGARA FALLS -- A pregnant woman was hospitalized following a domestic incident at a Ninth Street residence Saturday night.

Tyler W. Craig, 20, was arrested on charges of third-degree assault and menacing. He is accused of hitting his pregnant girlfriend twice in the stomach and shoving her into the edge of a porch, injuring her back and knee.

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>Money, checks stolen from dentist's office

NIAGARA FALLS -- An apparent break-in at a Buffalo Avenue dentist's office overnight Friday netted $525 in cash and a number of personal checks belonging to patients, police said.

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