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POLICE & COURTS

>Raid on apartment below day care spurs drug arrest

Buffalo police and agents from the state attorney general's office raided a Ruspin Avenue apartment below a day care center, a Burgard Place home and a vehicle late Monday afternoon and seized a quantity of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and prescription pills, police said.

Arrested was 55-year-old Curtis Alford of Burgard Place. Alford was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of marijuana, criminal use of drug paraphernalia and pills outside of their original container.

The raids were made on 154 Burgard and 26 Ruspin about 4:30 p.m. Seized were more than a half-ounce of crack cocaine, 2 pounds of marijuana and a quantity of Loritab pills, said Dennis J. Richards, Buffalo police chief of detectives.

The Little Angels Day Care is located on the second floor at 26 Ruspin. It was not involved in Monday's drug seizure, police said.

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>Red Cross helps three after fire in home

The Red Cross is helping one adult and two children after their home was heavily damaged by flames on Monday.

Fire officials said fire erupted on the first floor at 131 French St. just before noon. Firefighters were told that children were possibly trapped inside the burning home, but they all escaped. Officials said no injuries were reported.

The fire extended to the roof of the 2 1/2 -story house, causing about $75,000 damage to the structure and $25,000 damage to the contents.

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>Springville man accused of stalking children

SPRINGVILLE -- A 64-year-old man accused of stalking and exposing himself to young girls from his apartment has been arrested, Erie Country Sheriff Timothy Howard announced Monday.

Eddie Smith, who lived in the Colonial Drive Apartments, obsessively watched and videotaped neighborhood children as they played outside, deputies said. Neighbors also complained that Smith tried to lure children to him by offering them candy.

When deputies searched his apartment last week, they found a video-camera trained on a nearby apartment building and a chair that allowed Smith to keep watching out his window without getting up to use the bathroom, according to reports. Deputies said they also seized books on topics like serial killers and changing one's identity.

Smith, who was formally named Michael Zimpher, told deputies he fantasized about kidnapping and raping young girls and killing police officers and their families, investigators said.

He was charged with felony stalking and misdemeanor criminal possession of a weapon, a stun gun, deputies said. He pleaded not guilty and was being held Monday on $5,000 bail.

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>Male thief who dressed as woman identified, jailed

A cross-dressing burglar who stole several lottery tickets has been identified and arrested, Depew village police reported Monday.

Cheektowaga resident Jason Collins, 19, was dressed as a woman when he tried to take a large number of lottery tickets from a NOCO station on George Urban Boulevard in Depew in February, police said. When the female clerk confronted him, he bit and punched her, yelling that she should let him go because he was a guy, according to reports.

Collins tried to cash in his lottery tickets at several stores the next day, police said. Investigators said they used security videos from those stores to identify him. Collins was being held Monday night in the Erie County Holding Center.

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>Motorcyclist doing stunts is injured in Evans crash

A motorcyclist was speeding and doing stunts on Route 5 in Evans Sunday night when he lost control and was thrown from his motorcycle, Evans police reported Monday.

Austin M. Phillips, 21, of Elmwood Avenue in Blasdell, is facing a charge of reckless endangerment. He was being treated Monday in the emergency room of the Erie County Medical Center for injuries to his leg, arm and head. Police said he was listed in stable condition.

Detective Lt. Samuel DeJohn said Phillips, who was with a companion motorcyclist, was performing wheelies and other stunts along Route 5.

The accident occurred about 8:30 p.m. at Erie and Derby roads, near the Hamburg town line. The motorcycle skidded about 460 feet on the pavement, ejecting Phillips, and sending his shoes flying 50 feet from where he landed.

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>Police say man exposed himself to jogger, girl

A Lancaster man has been charged after police said he exposed himself to a woman jogging with her 4-year-old daughter in the village of Lancaster.

Frank Witkowski, 64, was charged with public lewdness, and released after posting $250 bail.

Witkowski is accused of exposing himself while sitting on a lawn near Hinchey Avenue as the woman and her daughter were jogging along Central Avenue at about 10 a.m. Sunday, police said.

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