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POLICE & COURTS

Grand Island Bridge too low for high truck

NIAGARA FALLS -- A tractor-trailer accessing the Robert Moses Parkway on a ramp beneath the Grand Island Bridge sheared off its roof on the north Grand Island Bridge at 4 a.m. Wednesday.

Esmaeil Novtash-Sangtarash, 48, of Scarborough, Ont., was charged with disobeying a traffic control device, exceeding height restrictions and a logbook violation.

"It's pretty well signed, but the driver went pretty far underneath and peeled back part of the trailer," said State Police Sgt. Larry Brauer.

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Tracks in the snow lead to suspect in ATV theft

LOCKPORT -- A glove in a pocket and footprints in the snow led city police to charge a Walnut Street teen with felony burglary in the theft of a four-wheeler from a garage Wednesday morning.

A West Remick Parkway woman said she awoke to discover her husband's four-wheeler across the street. Police said they followed footprints to Justin M. Kane, 17, in a yard on Juniper Street and that Kane ran across yards and over fences before he was caught in a back yard on Elmira Street at 6:10 a.m.

Police said they found one of the owner's driving gloves in Kane's pocket. The teen was charged with felony third-degree burglary and felony criminal mischief, for allegedly damaging a motorcycle and smashing a window in a pickup truck, police said.

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Inmate gets 15 years for attack on guard

Christian A. Tabb, serving a four-year prison term in a Niagara Falls stabbing, on Wednesday was ordered to remain behind bars for an additional 15 years for injuring a guard at the state's Gowanda Correctional Facility.

State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang imposed the maximum-allowable prison term for Tabb's Dec. 16 conviction on felony assault charges for the February 2004 attack on Corrections Officer Michael E. Insula.

Tabb, who has been in jail since shortly after he chased a man with a knife on Portage Road in October 2002, declined comment. His attorney, Douglas Stiller, unsuccessfully urged the judge for a more lenient additional prison term because of "mental health issues" affecting Tabb's behavior.

Deputy District Attorney Lawrence M. Schwegler said Tabb broke the jaw and caused serious shoulder injuries to Insula as the 18-year veteran was patting him down near the old ground-floor ambulance entrance of the Gowanda prison on Feb. 3, 2004.

Insula, 41, was out of work for five months.

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Woodlawn Ave. fire damages two-car garage

NIAGARA FALLS -- Damage was put at $35,000 in a fire that engulfed a two-car garage at 2406 Woodlawn Ave. at 12:44 p.m. Wednesday, fire officials said.

Officials said two cars were in the detached cinder-block garage, owned by Michael Augustino. Damage was estimated at $20,000 to the building and $15,000 to the contents.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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Arson charge filed in Lockport attic fire

LOCKPORT -- A man was charged Wednesday morning with setting a fire in the attic of an Erie Street home earlier this week.

Benedetto E. Licata, 20, of Erie Street was charged with felony arson after an investigation by Detective John Yotter.

The fire, which erupted Monday at 27 Erie, caused an undetermined amount of damage, according to the Lockport Fire Department.

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