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POLICE & COURTS

>Knifing suspect arrested in attack on boy, 15

A 54-year-old Buffalo man was charged with stabbing a 15-year-old boy with a steak knife Monday night on Stewart Street, police said.

The boy suffered a puncture wound on his left arm. He was being treated in Women and Children's Hospital.

Alonzo Banks, who lives several houses away on Stewart Street, was charged with second-degree assault, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal possession of a weapon.

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>Suspect in assault hit with felony charge

NEW ALBION -- A South Dayton man was arrested Monday and charged with felony assault in connection with an attack on a Cattaraugus man last week in New Albion, Cattaraugus County sheriff's officials reported.

Daniel E. Gleason, 23, allegedly attacked the 23-year-old victim March 21, leaving him with severe facial injuries, police said.

After arraignment in Otto Town Court, he was sent to county jail in lieu of $500 bail.

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>Inspector is acquitted on 2 perjury charges

A jury has acquitted an inspector for the state Office of General Services of two perjury charges.

Owen Byrne II, 45, of Eden, was found not guilty of lying to a federal grand jury that was investigating the state's dealings with a contractor who was hired to remove underground fuel tanks in Western New York.

The jury verdict was rendered Monday night after a four-day trial before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. Buffalo attorney Herbert L. Greenman represented Byrne in the case.

"What the U.S. attorney called perjury, we called a misunderstanding," Greenman said. "[Byrne] gave an answer to the grand jury that was an honest mistake."

The grand jury probe led to a 2004 indictment against Bavesh Kamdar, a former Niagara Falls contractor whose company was paid nearly $12 million to remove underground fuel tanks at State Police stations, prisons and other state facilities.

Kamdar, who lived in Amherst and ran a Niagara Falls company called ISS Co., is charged with money-laundering and mail fraud. Byrne was a state inspector on the tank-removal jobs done by Kamdar's company.

"[Kamdar] fled the country before his indictment. We know he is in India, and he is still a fugitive," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony M. Bruce. The state is also pursuing a lawsuit against Kamdar, Bruce said.

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>Attorney withdrawing from rape, slashing case

LOCKPORT -- Joseph S. Holka, charged with raping a 16-year-old girl, slashing her brother's throat and burning down their house March 6, lost his attorney Tuesday.

In a brief Niagara County Court appearance, District Attorney Matthew J. Murphy III told Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. that Michael P. Stuermer, who had represented Holka at his arraignment last week, had sent him a letter saying he was withdrawing from the case because Holka's family never had formally retained him.

Assistant Public Defender David Farrugia told Broderick that Holka, 21, of River Road, Wheatfield, qualified for public defender services and now will be represented by that staff. A pretrial hearing was set for May 17.

Holka, facing a 16-count indictment accusing him of rape, sexual abuse, burglary, robbery, assault, weapons possession and arson, is being held on $150,000 bail.

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>Horseplay escalates, results in knifing, arrest

FORT ERIE, Ont. -- Horseplay between two teenage males escalated into a stabbing that left an 18-year-old recovering Tuesday with a non-life-threatening wound to his back, Niagara Regional police reported.

Police charged Jeremy Maracle, 19, of Fort Erie, with assault with a weapon. He was taken into custody in Niagara Falls pending a bail hearing today.

Police said Maracle and the victim were horsing around at about 11 a.m. Tuesday in a local park known as the Sugarbowl in the area of Central Avenue and Gilmore Road when the incident escalated.

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