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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

16-year-old Cuba youth pulled from pond dies

A 16-year-old Cuba youth died Saturday after being pulled unconscious from a pond near his home Friday.

State police did not identify the victim, saying next of kin had not been notified. The youth and his brother were picking cattails at the pond across the street from his home at about 5 p.m. when he fell backwards into the water and did not surface, police said.

Police and firefighters searched the pond and found the boy about 20 feet from the shore in 8 feet of water.

He was taken to Olean General Hospital then Women and Children's Hospital, where he died.

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Youngstown teen killed in crash near state park

PORTER -- Deputies identified Joseph Hoffman as the Youngstown teenager who died at the scene of a two-car crash on Lower River Road at about 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Hoffman, 17, was killed when his vehicle crossed the center line and was struck by an oncoming vehicle driven by MadaleneAnsel. The crash occurred about a quarter-mile north of the entrance to Joseph Davis State Park. After Hoffman's vehicle was struck by the approaching car, it veered off the road and crashed into a tree.

Ansel was taken to Mount St. Mary's Hospital in Lewiston, where she was treated and released.

The Niagara County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate the crash.

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Driver accused of hitting man in parking lot, fleeing

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Wilson man faces multiple felony charges, including vehicular assault, after police said he intentionally ran down a man in the parking lot of the Tops Market on Portage Road early Saturday.

The victim, Tavar S. Anderson, 23, was treated for substantial injuries that were not life-threatening in Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, said police Detective Capt. Ernest Palmer.

The condition of the Crick Court resident was not available late Saturday.

A cab driver chased the hit-and-run vehicle after the 3:30 a.m. incident, calling in its location to police on his cell phone until officers intercepted the car at Forest Avenue and 27th Street.

The driver, Charles H. Williams II, 23, of Willow Street, Wilson, was charged with driving while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident, assault, vehicular assault, speeding, reckless driving, unlawful possession of marijuana and having an open container of alcohol.

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Police seek ex-boyfriend in assault, fire threat

NIAGARA FALLS -- Police are looking for a man who forced his way into a Weston Avenue home early Saturday, assaulted an elderly woman and threatened to burn the house down before he was chased off.

The man, a former boyfriend of the current resident, entered the home at about 4 a.m. and used duct tape to tie up an 8-year-old boy and his grandmother, Detective Frank Coney said. When the woman started to get free, she was beaten with a baseball bat, suffering cuts and bruises to both arms.

Coney said the boy's mother grabbed the bat from the intruder and chase him off. The man faces multiple charges, including burglary, assault and endangering the welfare of a child, Coney said.

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Concession stand fire at park believed arson

NIAGARA FALLS -- Investigators believe someone doused the concession stand at the city-owned 91st Street Park with gasoline late Friday before setting it on fire.

The 11:36 p.m. blaze caused about $500 damage to the combination concession stand/storage building, which is used by the Cayuga Little League.

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Police break up teen drinking party

NIAGARA FALLS -- A 19-year-old was arrested early Saturday after police busted an underage drinking party at his LaSalle residence. Of the 28 people in attendance, none was older than 18, and a 15-year-old was among those highly intoxicated, police said.

Officer Jay Fisher said he went to the home in the 200 block of 73rd Street just before midnight after receiving complaints of underage drinking.

Fisher said that as he approached, an apparent "lookout" ran inside and the home's lights were then turned off. Fisher said he checked through a window and saw young people huddled inside a dark room, with alcohol containers scattered around.

He said he then encountered an intoxicated 17-year-old, Shawn W. Barrett of Pasadena Avenue, who was charged with obstructing governmental administration when he refused to cooperate with investigators.

Party host Thomas V. Paoletta was charged with obstruction and unlawfully dealing with a child. Police said they recovered a nearly empty beer keg and a bottle of vodka and detected a strong odor of marijuana. They also said they found a 15-year-old hiding in a closet, heavily intoxicated. Of the 28 partygoers, two were 15 years of age, 10 were age 16, and 11 were age 17, Fisher said. Fisher said the home is rented by Paoletta from his mother, who lives in an adjacent house. She claimed to be unaware of the activities taking place. She was not charged.

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