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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Hotel guest charged with heroin possession

NIAGARA FALLS -- A guest at the Seneca Casino Hotel was charged with heroin possession after housekeeping employees found a bag of heroin and a loaded syringe Wednesday night, Niagara falls police said.

Bridgette A. Mancuso, 38, of Merrimack, N.H., was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance just before 9 p.m. in the Fourth Street hotel.

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Police subdue woman in store parking lot

NIAGARA FALLS -- Police said they used a stun gun and pepper spray to subdue a woman in a convenience store parking lot at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Cynthia D. Mayfield, 34, of Eighth Street, was charged with loitering, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct in the 1500 block of Main Street.

Police said Mayfield shouted obscenities, swung at officers and attempted to run away. She was tackled and forced into handcuffs and continued to attempt to kick officers and try to kick the patrol car windows, police said.

She was treated in Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.

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Falls man accused of beating woman

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Livingston Avenue man charged with assault, menacing and harassment is accused of beating and threatening a woman, police said.

Brian J. Scarupa, 39, entered the victim's Grand Avenue apartment Wednesday morning, grabbing her by the throat, slammed her into walls and threw her to the ground, punching and kicking her, police said.

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Reinforced doors thwart burglary try

NIAGARA FALLS -- Steel reinforced doors are credited with warding off attempted burglaries at two Pine Avenue businesses, owners told police.

The doors of Frontier Vacuum and Giglio's Cafe were damaged when someone tried to pry them open Wednesday morning, police said. The doors were reinforced because of previous break-ins at the businesses, police said.

Damage to Giglio's door was estimated at $300 and Frontier $1,000.

In an unrelated incident the same day, Roderick Caudle, 36, of no known address, was charged with felony criminal mischief just after 2 p.m. He is accused of smashing a mirror with a chair in Giglio's, causing $500 damage.

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Guilty plea entered to drug felony

LOCKPORT -- Michael G. Kargatis III, 19, of 70th Street, Niagara Falls, pleaded guilty to a drug felony Thursday in Niagara County Court.

Kargatis admitted to attempted third-degree sale of a controlled substance. He was charged with selling nearly an ounce of cocaine to police informants in Niagara Falls on three separate occasions during 2005: May 13 on Pierce Avenue, May 19 outside a Hyde Park Boulevard pizzeria and July 1 outside a Wilson Farms store. No sentencing date was announced.

Darnell M. Humphrey, 21, of Cleveland Avenue, Niagara Falls, pleaded guilty to attempted fourth-degree possession of a controlled substance. He tried to sell 0.15 ounces of cocaine out of his car on Niagara Street in Niagara Falls Feb. 3. Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza set sentencing for Feb. 21.

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Sentence imposed in auto insurance fraud

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man who took part in an auto insurance fraud scheme was sentenced Thursday to 10 weekends in the Niagara County Jail, 200 hours of community service and a $5,000 fine.

County Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. imposed the penalties on David V. Waldriff, 37, of 99th Street. He had been convicted at fourth-degree insurance fraud and attempted fourth-degree grand larceny.

Waldriff owned Best Buy Auto Sales on Lockport Road in Cambria. That's where prosecutors said Robert L. Gualano, 41, of 72nd Street, Niagara Falls, crashed his vehicle into two parked autos on Jan. 29, 2005, to create a $6,000 insurance claim by Waldriff, which was denied by the insurance company. Gualano pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, testified at Waldriff's trial and was placed on probation.

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Falls man convicted of cocaine possession

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara County Court jury deliberated about 6 1/2 hours Thursday before convicting a Niagara Falls man of cocaine possession.

Terrence X. Jones, 42, of 11th Street, was found guilty of fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest. The jury of seven women and five men acquitted him of third-degree cocaine possession with intent to sell.

He was arrested with 0.28 ounces of cocaine in his possession on Main Street in Niagara Falls on Oct. 31, 2005.

Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr., who presided over the four-day trial, scheduled sentencing for Jan. 11. It was Jones' second trial on the charges; the first ended in a deadlocked jury Aug. 24. Assistant District Attorney Susan B. Bjornholm was the prosecutor and Robert Viola the defense attorney.

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