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POLICE & COURTS

>Amherst Street merchant thwarts holdup with a bat

A gun-toting robber was beaten back by an Amherst Street shopkeeper armed with a baseball bat late Monday, Buffalo police said.

The shop owner told police that at about 11:30 p.m., a woman waving a gun demanded money from the cash register. The owner knocked the gun out of the woman's hand and then hit her in the head with the bat, police said.

A suspect, identified as Donna M. O'Neil, 52, of Amherst Street, was arrested a short time later and charged with attempted robbery. She was treated in Erie County Medical Center.

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>Homicide investigators at scene of two stabbings

Homicide investigators late Tuesday responded to the scene of two stabbings late Tuesday on Calumet Place.

Details of the stabbings, which occurred at 18 Calumet Place shortly before 11 p.m., remained sketchy, police said. Early reports indicated a woman was stabbed in the head twice and once in both sides of her chest and was rushed to Erie County Medical Center.

The other person, believed to be a youth or a child, was taken to Women and Children's Hospital with superficial cuts, police said.

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>Former football star cleared in robbery trial

Earl Williams, a former high school football star, was found not guilty of robbery in connection with an armed purse snatching after his attorney proved he was on a Metro Bus when the gunman drove off in a car, officials said Tuesday.

Following a nonjury trial, State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang found Williams, 23, innocent of two felony robbery charges for the thefts of the purses of two women walking in the 200 block of Hampshire Street at about 8:45 p.m. March 23, 2006.

Williams, a Bird Avenue resident named to the All-WNY Team as a Lafayette High School running back, hugged attorney Michael L. D'Amico as the judge announced the verdict, court officials said. He had been free on bail.

While one of the victims testified that Williams was the shotgun-wielding man who staged the robbery and then drove off in a car, D'Amico gave the judge Williams' NFTA bus pass, which showed his client was on a Metro Bus around the time of the crime.

The other victim said she couldn't identify the assailant who forced them to the ground as he took their purses.

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>Two Buffalo homes stripped of copper pipe

Two Buffalo homes were stripped of their copper pipe during separate break-ins reported to police over the weekend.

A woman told Northeast District police Sunday that a burglar entered her house in the 1000 block of Kensington Avenue sometime between last Wednesday and Sunday. The burglar removed the copper piping and broke the water pipe. The theft was estimated at $1,200, and damage was another $1,700.

In another incident, a 35-year-old woman was inside her house in the 300 block of 14th Street at about 9 a.m. Sunday when she heard noises and saw two men removing the copper piping from the basement, causing water to flood the home, police said.

Officers said one of the men tried to flee on the victim's bicycle, but he left it on the front lawn. Just before the second man fled, he reportedly told the woman, "We were sent here, but we didn't know this was your house."

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>UB student attacked walking to her car

A 19-year-old University at Buffalo student walking to her car in an off-campus housing parking lot Monday night was attacked by two men who tried to rape her, Amherst police said.

The victim told police that she was on her way to her car at about 11 p.m. when she was grabbed from behind, said Amherst Assistant Police Chief John Askey.

The men dragged her toward the back seat of a light blue four-door vehicle. One of the men -- described as a 6-feet tall, 150-pound white man in his 30s with dark hair and wearing blue jeans and a brown T-shirt -- forced her into the back seat.

The second assailant was described as a black man with a light complexion and a dark goatee, about 20 years old and wearing blue jeans.

The student struggled with the older man, who then pushed her out of the car.

The victim went to a friend's home, and the friend called police. Police conducted searches by foot and by car but have not been able to find the vehicle or assailants in the crime.

The victim did not suffer any serious injuries, police said.

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>UB police issues alert about modeling posters

The University at Buffalo police issued a warning to students, staff and the public Tuesday, cautioning them against responding to posters that read "Figure model wanted for photo projects" that have been circulated around the campus and Internet.

Gerald W. Schoenle Jr., university police chief, said the person posting the advertisement is "not authorized or affiliated with the university [and] is presently under investigation by local police for crimes related to this poster."

Victims are urged to contact university police at 645-2222.

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