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POLICE & COURTS

Youth, 16, arrested in shooting death

A Sumner Place youth was charged with murder in Friday's shooting death of another teen on Sussex Street, Buffalo police reported.

Lovelle G. Jones, 16, was arrested Monday afternoon. Jones is accused of using a rifle to shoot 18-year-old Terrence B. Smith of Kosciuszko Avenue in the chest at about 9:45 p.m. Friday. Smith was pronounced dead at the scene.

Jones faces murder and weapons possession charges. He is scheduled to be arraigned at 9:30 a.m. today in Buffalo City Court.

The two were apparently arguing over the last-minute cancellation of a planned party when the shooting occurred.

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Man sought for posing as cop, plotting larceny

A man posing as a Buffalo police officer is wanted in connection with the attempt to swindle $11,000 from a Crescent Avenue woman Monday morning, according to police reports.

The victim called 911 to report she received a telephone call about 8:30 a.m. from a man calling himself "Sgt. Floss of the Buffalo Police Department Special Crimes Unit."

There is no person by that name in the Buffalo police.

The man told the victim to bring more than $11,000 cash to a parking lot and give it to an undercover officer because it was counterfeit. He later called her back and asked when she was going to meet the officer, but she refused.

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Two intruders hit man with gun, steal TV set

Two robbers -- one armed with a handgun -- broke into a Grote Street home, confronted a man inside and struck him on his right knee with the gun, police reported.

Northwest District police said the two men forced their way inside the victim's house at about 2:40 a.m. and stole his television, valued at $179.

One of the men said, "This is for Dee and Tone," before hitting the victim with his gun. The robbers then drove away, fleeing east on Grote in a dark-colored car.

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Man faces mental tests for menacing neighbors

A Geary Street man who allegedly terrorized his South Buffalo neighborhood for years was ordered to undergo mental health testing after he pleaded guilty Monday to criminal contempt for threatening a block club activist.

Karl Johnson, 51, stared menacingly at activist Doreen Milligan Geary before pleading guilty in front of City Judge Craig D. Hannah.

Johnson then was sent to Drug Court Judge Robert T. Russell Jr., who ordered the mental health examination and ordered Johnson held in custody pending further court proceedings.

After Monday's court action, Geary said that since Johnson's jailing, the neighborhood has been safer for young children and the elderly. An active member of the Seneca-Babcock Community Block Club, she obtained an order of protection after complaining to authorities about what neighbors thought were Johnson's drug-related activities.

Johnson found out about her complaints, and his threat to her about having "a gun waiting for me" spurred her court action and his eventual plea, she said.

"I'm just thankful for all the support we have received from all the block clubs in the city," Geary said, also thanking judges, police and prosecutors. "This is a huge success and a prime example of what citizens can do to protect their communities from drugs and crime."

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Town of Tonawanda thefts net 10-year prison term

Longtime Buffalo burglar Robert A. Wasyl was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison as a judge rebuked him for burglarizing a church, stealing the wallet of a sleeping elderly man and taking jewelry from a frail woman he woke up and threatened.

Wasyl, 29, was released from prison two years ago after three years behind bars for a series of Buffalo break-ins. On Monday, Erie County Judge Sheila A. DiTullio sentenced him on his Jan. 18 burglary pleas to the three Town of Tonawanda thefts.

Prosecutor Letizia Pia Tagliafierro said Wasyl, jailed since his arrest late last June, pleaded guilty to stealing coins from the rectory of St. Timothy's Catholic Church on East Park Drive early June 10. He also admitted stealing jewelry from a homebound woman he awoke on Benefield Court early last June 27, and stealing the wallet of an elderly man who was sleeping when Wasyl broke into his Twain Court home early last May 29.

None of the stolen property was recovered, the prosecutor said.

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Intruder hits man, 77, with spittoon and cane

A 77-year-old Buffalo man was beaten in the head with a brass spittoon and his cane by an attacker who broke into his Warring Avenue home Sunday afternoon, city police said.

Police believe the victim knew his attacker, and a possible suspect has been identified. No arrest has been made.

The victim suffered a deep cut on his head and was treated by firefighters and paramedics at the scene.

Ferry-Fillmore District police said the intruder forced his way inside the victim's apartment at about 1 p.m. and attacked him, breaking the cane over his head.

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