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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Construction site crash prompts assault charge

LEWISTON -- Police said they are continuing to investigate the cause of a construction site crash that left a Grand Island man with a broken leg this week.

Benjamin M. Sicoli, 78, of North Ridge Road, who was driving a sport utility vehicle on his property, was charged with third-degree assault and recklessly causing physical injury after the SUV struck 45-year-old Thomas M. Rall of Grand Island, police said.

Rall was taken from the scene, in the 700 block of North Ridge Road, by Mercy Flight to Erie County Medical Center, where his leg was set in a cast. He said he is now being treated for a kidney infection and stomach problems stemming from the incident.

Rall, a subcontractor for H&M Plumbing, told The Buffalo News he was purposely hit by Sicoli. "He came flying out of nowhere," Rall said.

Witnesses told police Sicoli was angry that contractors were on his property and got out of his truck after the accident and said, "I told you not to work here or this would happen."

Sicoli, vice president of Sicoli & Massaro, told police that one of the workers threw coffee at him and that Rall ran in front of his vehicle. He also said the sun had blinded him when Rall ran out, according to police reports.

"The case is not closed," Lewiston Police Sgt. Frank Previte said Wednesday. He said that officers had yet to talk with Rall.

"So far, we have just laid the groundwork," Previte said. "More charges are pending, and we will be talking to the district attorney."

Sicoli was released to family members after filing of the misdemeanor charges, Previte said.

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Woman denies charges involving drugs, guns

LOCKPORT -- A Lincoln Avenue woman was arraigned in a drugs-and-guns case Tuesday in Niagara County Court.

Rachael S. Padilla, 38, pleaded not guilty to two counts each of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and one count of fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. Arraignments are pending for two co-defendants, Jermaine C. Lloyd, 24, and Jovone E. Glass, 23, both of Rochester, who face similar charges plus a criminal mischief count.

Assistant District Attorney Susan B. Bjornholm said the incident began with a New Year's Day vandalism complaint on Genesee Street. Police said they traced the two men to Padilla's apartment, where Bjornholm said they found Lloyd, Glass, two stolen handguns and a bag of crack cocaine.

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Three in Lockport charged after police chase

LOCKPORT -- Three men were charged by Lockport police following a car chase through the city Tuesday afternoon.

The driver, Brandon D. Proulx, 17, of Royal Parkway North, was charged with resisting arrest, disobeying two stop signs, three charges of failure to signal, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, operating without a valid license and reckless driving.

Police said he drove at high speed through intersections at Genesee and Cottage streets without stopping, along LaGrange Street ignoring lights and sirens and then onto John Street, where he stopped and passenger Richard Tomaino, wanted on failure to appear warrants, jumped out and fled.

Officers chased Tomaino through yards, and he was apprehended in a yard on Saxton Street. Tomaino, 19, of Hawley Street, was charged with resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration.

Police said Proulx refused to get out of his car, telling them, "I'm busy on the phone," and had to be forcibly removed and charged.

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