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POLICE & COURTS

>Two firefighters hurt in Thatcher Ave. blaze

Two Buffalo firefighters suffered minor injuries Sunday while battling a blaze that damaged a Thatcher Avenue home, fire officials reported.

The firefighters were treated in Erie County Medical Center, while the Red Cross is assisting an adult and 10 children who lived there.

Authorities said flames erupted in the attic of 52 Thatcher, off Kensington Avenue, at 8:46 a.m. Damage was estimated by officials at $10,000 to the building and $5,000 to the contents.

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>Man in dark clothing shoots 3 on William St.

Three Buffalo men were shot Sunday morning at William and Hickory streets, police said.

Pharoah C. Sanders, 28, of Eagle Street, was listed in fair condition today in Erie County Medical Center.

The two other gunshot victims, Ray Lewis, 24, of West Delavan Avenue, and Charles E. Gwynn, 38, of Donaldson Road, were both treated in ECMC and released.

Central District police said the three men were walking east on William Street at about 2:20 a.m. when an unknown man, wearing dark clothing, shot them.

Police said the gunman and a second man fled in a white sport utility vehicle. Officers found three 9-mm gun casings at the scene.

On Feb. 23, 1997, Sanders and Gwynn were among five people arrested after Sanders allegedly fired a shot at a police officer investigating drug activity at 421 Hickory St.

At the time, Sanders, then 19, was charged with attempted first-degree murder for allegedly firing a shot at Officer John Poisson. Police said they found 28 bags of crack cocaine at the house and another 11 bags in Sanders' underwear during a search in Police Headquarters. Charles Gwynn, then 29, was arrested on drug and weapon-possession charges.

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>Man trying to rob bank leaves empty-handed

A man attempted to rob the Citibank at 409 Main St. today, police reported.

Central District police said the man entered the bank at about 9:30 a.m. No weapon was displayed and the man left empty-handed. Witnesses said the robber ran east across Lafayette Square. Bank employees told police they recognized the man and said he has tried to rob the bank before.

A bandit held up the bank on Feb. 24.

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>Buffalo man arrested in 2 Amherst burglaries

Amherst police have charged a Buffalo man with two residential burglaries early this morning on Lebrun Road and nearby Lebrun Circle after he was caught near the site of the second burglary.

A woman on Lebrun Circle awoke at about 1:40 a.m. today to find a man in her bedroom who told her not to move. He raced out of the house, the woman called 911, and Officer Gregory Trotter apprehended him nearby, police said.

Trotter charged Michael Rasmussen, 44, of Franklin Street, with burglary after police recovered about $50 in cash plus a camera taken in the burglary.

A few hours later, Amherst police learned about a burglary on Lebrun Road that had occurred at about 1 a.m. After recovering some credit cards, jewelry and a purse outside the home, police charged Rasmussen with an additional burglary count, along with grand larceny, criminal mischief and possession of burglar's tools.

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>Attack during robbery leaves victim injured

A Buffalo man was hospitalized early today after he was attacked by three men during a robbery at Clinton Street and Roberts Avenue, police said.

The victim suffered a possible broken nose, swollen eye and head injuries. Rural/Metro Medical Services paramedics transported him to Mercy Hospital for treatment.

South District police said the man was walking west on Clinton Street at about 2:20 a.m. when a blue late-model car pulled up and three men got out and demanded money.

The victim ran, the men caught up with him and dragged him from behind.

It was unclear if anything was stolen.

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>Crack cocaine seized after brief chase in Elma

Two Buffalo men were arrested after Erie County sheriff's deputies found a half ounce of crack cocaine after a brief car chase on Transit Road in Elma at about 1 a.m. Sunday.

Nikita Burt, 23, of Mortimer Street, was charged with reckless driving and other traffic offenses.

His passenger, Brandon Brown, 24, of Sumner Place, was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. Brown also was wanted on a parole warrant, deputies said.

The men were taken into custody by Deputies John Graham and Warren Hawthorn. Burt was released, while Brown was held pending arraignment in Elma Town Court.

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>Man slashed in argument with former girlfriend

A 22-year-old man was slashed with a kitchen knife early Sunday during an argument with his ex-girlfriend in her Lake View Avenue home, Orchard Park police report.

Joshua Rothfuss, of Hemstreet Road, East Aurora, suffered a minor cut on his arm and declined medical treatment. Amber Holland, 23, was charged with felony assault. Lt. Bruce Dearborn said that the incident occurred at about 5:30 a.m.

"It was verbal argument between the ex-girlfriend and the ex-boyfriend, and it escalated into a physical confrontation," said Dearborn.

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