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POLICE & COURTS

>Attack in school leaves staple in boy's eye

A man told police Friday that his 12-year-old son was left with a steel staple in his right eye after an attack Thursday in Harriet Ross Tubman School 31 on Stanton Street.

The boy was being treated in Women and Children's Hospital, and whether he would regain the use of the eye had not been determined Friday.

Buffalo Public Schools officials were investigating.

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>Artist admits smuggling protected-animal parts

A Toronto wildlife artist who possessed parts of protected wildlife species pleaded guilty to a felony charge in Buffalo's federal court on Friday.

Mark Gleberzon, 36, illegally imported parts of African elephants, monitor lizards, Amazon parrots, walruses and other protected species into the United States, Assistant U.S. Attorney MaryEllen Kresse said.

Kresse said the artist's conviction for smuggling protected wildlife was the result of an investigation by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Environment Canada's Wildlife Enforcement Directorate.

Authorities said Gleberzon tried to sell ornaments and other artifacts containing parts of protected creatures to federal agents.

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>Release of documents sought in Peltier case

Attorneys for Leonard Peltier argued before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York for the release of FBI files once kept in Buffalo.

Peltier, an American Indian Movement leader in the 1970s, has maintained his innocence in the murder of two FBI agents and supporters have tried to get his 1977 conviction overturned ever since, claiming he was targeted for his activism.

Peltier's defense team, including Buffalo attorney Michael Kuzma, is seeking the release of 140,000 pages of FBI documents from the three-decade-old case under the Freedom of Information Act.

The FBI in Buffalo released 797 pages of heavily redacted material in 2004, and withheld another 15 pages, citing Freedom of Information exemptions that allow the identities of agents, witnesses and informants to be withheld. A federal court in Buffalo upheld the FBI's action.

Kuzma reminded the court that prosecutors were found to have coerced witnesses and withheld evidence when they made their case against Peltier in a North Dakota courtroom.

Peltier, 60, is serving two life sentences at the federal penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pa.

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>Driver, 80, hospitalized after car hits pole

A car crashed into a utility pole Friday afternoon after the 80-year-old driver experienced a medical problem, West Seneca police Lt. Edward Baker said.

The West Seneca man , whose name was being withheld pending notification of his family, lost control of his vehicle shortly after 4 p.m. while making a turn on Mineral Springs Road.

Mercy Flight took the man to Erie County Medical Center. Police said he was conscious when he arrived at the hospital, but his condition was not known late Friday.

No one else was hurt, and no other cars were involved, Baker said.

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>Sex offender accused of taping girl in bath

A Cambridge Avenue man with a history of sex crimes was ordered Friday to remain in jail pending grand jury action on his attempt to secretly videotape a 15-year-old girl as she was bathing last week.

City Judge Sharon M. LoVallo ordered Sidney Allen, 36, of Cambridge Avenue held without bail.

On Friday, the victim, a niece of Allen's estranged girlfriend, testified that Allen had turned on a video camera, which she spotted after she was getting into the bathtub in his flat about 10 a.m. Dec. 2.

LoVallo ruled the girl's testimony established "reasonable grounds" for Allen's possible indictment on a felony charge of unlawful surveillance, and for child endangerment.

Sex crimes prosecutor Marni Bogart said the case will be presented to a grand jury within the next 45 days.

Court records show Allen was convicted in 1989 of sodomy and charges related to promoting prostitution and, in 2002, was charged with sexually harassing a teenage Buffalo girl, also in his home, then on Carl Street, after he had been released from prison for attempted robbery.

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>Two youths accused of witness intimidation

SHERIDAN An Angola youth and a teen from Silver Creek were arrested Thursday afternoon and accused of intimidating witnesses who were about to testify in a criminal case in Sheridan Town Court, Chautauqua County sheriff's officials said.

Joshua Phillips, 18, and Nathan W. Mekus, 16, were both charged with third-degree intimidation of a witness. Authorities said Phillips threatened to punch a Sheridan witness in the face and called the person a "snitch." Mekus was arrested in the Town of Hanover, where he threatened a witness there, deputies said.

Both were arrested on warrants and were ordered held in Chautauqua County Jail on $2,000 cash bail or $4,000 property bond.

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