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POLICE & COURTS

>Two gunmen hold up Main Street restaurant

A Main Street restaurant was robbed at gunpoint late Monday, Buffalo police reported.

A representative at Keith's Famous BBQ at 1371 Main St. told police that two men wearing dark clothing robbed him shortly after 10 p.m. They had guns and fled on foot south on Main Street, according to reports.

The robbers made off with an unspecified quantity of cash.

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>Parete's condition upgraded to serious

Buffalo Police Officer Patricia A. Parete was upgraded to serious condition Monday in Erie County Medical Center, a hospital spokesman said.

"It's a good sign moving from critical to serious," spokesman Thomas Quatroche said.

He said Parete was conscious and her blood pressure was stabilized.

Parete, one of two officers wounded last Tuesday in a shooting on the city's Lower West Side, was shot in the neck. Her family reported over the weekend that she has been recovering more quickly than her doctors expected, although she still is unable to speak.

Her partner, Officer Carl A. Andolina, shot in the neck, arm and chest, was not as seriously injured and is recovering at home.

Varner Harris Jr., 18, who confessed to shooting the officers, is jailed without bail on attempted murder and weapons charges.

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>Man accused of lying about stabbing, robbery

A Cheektowaga man who state police say stabbed himself and then reported to police he had been robbed has been charged with falsely reporting an incident and two counts of providing a false written statement.

Eric J. Marshall, 27, of Jenny Lane, told troopers he was stabbed in his left wrist during a robbery Dec. 3 in which $1,500 was stolen from him. Marshall provided a statement to police and was treated in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital in Amherst.

State Police investigators later found Marshall, in fact, bought a knife himself at a local store and stabbed himself. He then reported the robbery to explain a recent purchase he made.

Police did not elaborate on the purchase or to whom he was accountable.

Marshall is scheduled to appear in Clarence Town Court tonight for arraignment.

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>Jury convicts man of armed robbery

A Riley Street man laughed and told a prosecutor he will "see you on appeal" after an Erie County Court jury convicted him Monday of the armed robbery of a pizza deliveryman down the block from his home.

Samuel Wynn, 38, was convicted of second-degree robbery following a weeklong trial before Erie County Judge Timothy J. Drury. He has been in jail since his arrest at home about 15 minutes after the midnight robbery Aug. 30, 2005.

Prosecutor Jeffrey P. DiPalma said $65 of the $130 in cash stolen, the BB gun used in the stickup and the deliveryman's cell phone were recovered from Wynn that morning. His alleged cohort was never identified, said DiPalma.

DiPalma said he will urge District Attorney Frank J. Clark to recommend that Wynn -- who has a lengthy criminal record and was convicted of threatening a Buffalo police officer with a gun 14 years ago -- get a life term as a persistent violent felon.

Drury ordered Wynn held in jail pending his March 7 sentencing. Court officials said Wynn faces a mandatory prison term of at least seven years due to his criminal history and up to 15 years to life if the judge sentences him as a persistent violent felony offender.

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>Former office manager ordered to repay $36,000

Diane Ortiz, former office manager for husband-and-wife Cheektowaga physicians, was spared a jail term Monday but ordered to repay $36,000 on her guilty plea to grand larceny and state income tax fraud charges.

State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. ordered Ortiz, 36, of Clifford Street, to make $300 monthly restitution payments for the next 10 years. He also placed her on probation for five years after she brought $2,500 in cash to court as part of her restitution for thefts from Dr. Theodore Prawak and his wife, Dr. Alexandra Pasieka.

John C. Doscher, chief of the Erie County district attorney's White-Collar Crime Bureau, said Ortiz pleaded guilty Feb. 27 to stealing $101,232 while managing the doctors' office from April 2002 until her dismissal in the fall of 2005. He said the $36,000 figure was the amount agreed to in plea negotiations.

Ortiz declined to comment as she left court.

According to court papers, Ortiz told authorities she had a boyfriend with a drug problem who took all her money and prompted her to write checks out to herself, forge the doctors' signatures and cash the checks.

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>Family being assisted after trailer home burns

KENNEDY -- The American Red Cross is helping out a family of seven left homeless after their trailer home was destroyed by fire late last week.

Kennedy, Falconer and other surrounding fire companies responded to the call at a trailer park Friday night.

Red Cross Director Vince Horrigan said the family was attending the holiday parade in Jamestown when the fire broke out.

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