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POLICE & COURTS

>Area company's crane crushes car at arena site

A crane belonging to a Town of Tonawanda company fell over and crushed a parked car Tuesday in Pittsburgh at the site for the new arena for the Penguins of the National Hockey League.

The crane belongs to Empire Dismantlement Corp., which was demolishing a school in the city's Lower Hill area, at the site of the new hockey arena. Empire Dismantlement also was the demolition contractor at the site of the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino near HSBC Arena.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said a wrecking wedge used to break up the school building swung out too far and toppled the car.

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>2 men accused in theft of duct work from home

Buffalo police arrested two men on charges of breaking into two Grimes Street houses on Tuesday and stealing heater ducts -- and attempting to steal a hot water tank -- to sell for scrap metal.

Michael L. McGee, also known as Idris Alim, 55, of Northampton Street, and Anthony L. Cox, 48, of Swinburne Place, were each charged with two counts of burglary, criminal mischief and petit larceny. Police said McGee is on parole for a felony drug conviction.

Ferry-Fillmore District officers said the two men broke into 68 Grimes, a vacant house owned by the city, at about 11:40 a.m. and stole all the aluminum duct work from the heating system.

Police believe that minutes earlier, the two men entered 72 Grimes and tried to steal the hot water tank. Contractors who were upstairs performing work for the house's owner heard the noise and chased them out of the house. Officers Anthony Porzio and Ann Vanyo arrested McGee and Cox at 68 Grimes.

In a separate scrap metal incident, a Buffalo man was charged Wednesday morning with possessing a shopping cart filled with aluminum and wire stolen from a house.

Charles Mayfield, 50, of Herman Street, was charged with possession of burglar tools and criminal possession of stolen property. Police said Lt. Gail Allen and Officer Arrie Moore arrested Mayfield on Coit Street and found him with a wrench, saw blade and screwdriver.

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>Home invasion results in stabbing, robbery

A 24-year-old man was stabbed twice in his back after two intruders barged into his Niagara Street home, police said.

Juan Morales was treated in Erie County Medical Center's emergency room and released.

Central District police said the victim and a second man were inside their apartment in the 100 block of Niagara at about 10 p.m. A man knocked on the door and entered the apartment, where he stabbed Morales, and stole the second man's watch and two video game consoles. The attacker and his male accomplice fled with the items.

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>Driver scolded by judge at sentencing for DWIs

Clayton George King III got a judicial scolding for being indifferent to his drinking problem after being sentenced to two to six years in prison for drunken-driving offenses.

Erie County Judge Shirley Troutman imposed the prison term after King, 38, pleaded guilty to felony drunken-driving charges for arrests on Lathrop Street on July 29, 2005, and on the Niagara Thruway just south of the Grand Island Bridge last Sept. 30.

King, a laborer most recently living in Lockport, still faces drunken-driving charges in Kingman, Ariz., for a March 2004 arrest, Prosecutor Paul J. Williams III said.

King, jailed since last Sept. 30, has 10 previous alcohol-related driving arrests in Buffalo, Tonawanda, Kenmore, Lackawanna and Niagara County since 1986 and has been illegally driving without a driver's license since 1985, Williams said.

He was clocked last Sept. 30 driving almost 80 mph off the Grand Island Bridge before being stopped on the Niagara Thruway, the prosecutor said.

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>Revenge arsonist, 45, gets up to 3-year term

A Town of Tonawanda man was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months to three years in prison on his felony arson plea linked to fires set in two cars being repaired at the Hertel Avenue shop of a relative last year.

State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia turned down a request by Michael Confer, 45, of Ritchie Avenue, Town of Tonawanda, to be assigned to a state prison drug treatment program. The judge told him he had squandered "too many opportunities in the past" to overcome substance abuse problems.

The judge also ordered Confer to make full restitution of the $2,551.78 in damage to the cars he torched at AR Automotive shop, 1261 Hertel Ave., about 4:30 a.m. last Oct. 24.

Prosecutor Lauren A. Rott said the fires were quickly extinguished after a witness saw Confer break windows on the cars and pour a flammable liquid in each. He was arrested three hours later.

Confer had had a falling-out with relatives and torched the cars as an act of revenge, prosecutors said.

Rott said the judge issued an order of protection barring Confer from contacting the owner of the repair shop for the next five years.

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