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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

>Man accused of attack on woman held captive

NIAGARA FALLS -- City police said they charged an 18-year-old man Thursday with assault, unlawful imprisonment and other crimes after a woman said he beat her in the head with a metal object, abused her and would not let her leave his Hyde Park Boulevard apartment.

Police charged Willie Harris III of Hyde Park Boulevard at 9 a.m. Thursday after the woman said he hit her in the face, pushed her against a wall, punched her and threw her on the ground. He then struck her in the head with a metal object, punched her in the face again and ripped her shirt and pants, she told officers.

Harris then locked the doors and would not let the woman leave, she said. A neighbor phoned police, and when officers arrived, they were let into the apartment by a maintenance worker, an officer said.

Police said they ordered Harris to release the woman when they found him holding her down on the couch and then ordered him at gunpoint and Taser to move away after he refused.

Police said the woman refused medical treatment.

Harris was also held on warrants out of Amherst and Orleans County on charges of petit larceny and unlawful dealing with a child, police said.

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>Guilty plea entered in Batavia bank robbery

A Medina man is facing up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for robbing a Batavia bank in August following his guilty plea Thursday in federal court, U.S. Attorney Terrance P. Flynn said.

Dwayne Griffith, 44, admitted robbing the M&T Bank branch at 55 Main St. in Batavia on Aug. 14. Griffith took a cigar box containing candles and a ticking clock and handed the teller a note stating he had a gun in his pocket and a bomb in the box, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie P. Grisanti.

Griffith is scheduled to be sentenced May 1 by U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny.

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