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POLICE & COURTS

Police arrest man, 23, who they say cursed them

A West Side man was charged with obstruction of governmental administration Tuesday afternoon after confronting police officers investigating another case in the 300 block of Hudson Street.

Central District officers were on a call when Richard L. Salsala Jr., 23, of Richmond Avenue, approached them and began cursing at them, authorities said. Despite several requests that he leave the area, police said Salsala refused.

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Arrested man increases woes during booking

A Hirschbeck Street man was charged with disorderly conduct late Tuesday when he became confrontational with police investigating a complaint about a man making a loud noise, police said.

Ferry-Fillmore District police said after they arrested Leslie Coleman, 34, at about 11:50 p.m. Tuesday, he encountered more legal problems during booking in the Erie County Holding Center.

When Erie County sheriff's deputies asked him if he had any sharp objects on him, he answered "no," according to police. However, deputies said they found a homemade knife in a front pants pocket. Coleman was charged with promoting prison contraband.

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Police charge driver with having loaded gun

A Norfolk, Va., man was arrested Wednesday on a charge of criminal possession of a loaded handgun, according to Ferry-Fillmore Police Officers John Messina and Steven Sierk.

Ronald Vinson, 38, had been stopped by police at 12:45 a.m. after running a red light at Bailey and Walden avenues, police said.

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Woman makes false report of armed home invasion

A Buffalo woman who falsely told police someone was armed with a gun as a means of getting police to her home quicker saw that strategy backfire Tuesday night.

Cynthia D. Parker, 50, of Northumberland Avenue, admitted to Northeast District police that she lied when she called for help at 11:45 p.m. Police said Parker called police because another woman was wrecking her house.

Officer Dawn Lopez charged Parker with falsely reporting an incident.

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Hearing Monday to decide on jailing businessman

A hearing will be held Monday in federal court to decide whether an Elma businessman should be jailed while he awaits trial on 34 felony counts of fraud, money-laundering and making false statements.

William Toth, 41, who was indicted last week, pleaded not guilty during an arraignment Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gretchen L. Wylegala told Scott that the government considers Toth a "danger to the public" because of criminal conduct he engaged in after he was sentenced in another federal fraud case in 2002.

Toth has been convicted of several driving-while-intoxicated incidents and also lied to a federal probation officer who was assigned to supervise him after his earlier conviction, Wylegala said.

Defense attorney Herbert L. Greenman said he will ask Scott to allow Toth to stay out of jail while awaiting trial. Toth was led from the courtroom by U.S. marshals and will be held in jail at least until Monday's detention hearing.

After an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Internal Revenue Service criminal division, Toth was accused last week of running a complex series of schemes that cheated the Postal Service out of $350,000.

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Student accused of using lighter to 'brand' girl

SANBORN -- A Niagara Academy student used a hot lighter to "brand" a 17-year-old girl on her hip during the bus ride home from school last week, Niagara County sheriff's deputies said.

School officials and deputies said Wednesday that the male student, 17, faces charges of assault with a weapon. Principal Sushma Sztorc told deputies that the student was suspended Friday for five days and that the Sheriff's Office is seeking a warrant for his arrest.

The victim, who said she was afraid to tell anyone about the attack for fear of reprisal, confided in a school counselor and social worker.

The attacker told the girl he wanted to "brand her," then touched her hip with the top of a hot lighter.

Another student who said he was threatened did not want to follow through on charges, deputies said.

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3 suspects with bandannas attack, rob Clinton St. man

A Clinton Street man who refused to stop and talk with three men, all wearing purple and red bandannas, was beaten and robbed Tuesday night about a block from his residence, Central District police said.

The victim said he was out walking at 10:15 p.m. when they asked "to talk to him." At that point, the three jumped him and took $240 before fleeing toward Towne Garden Apartments on Cedar Street.

Police said all three were wearing purple bandannas around their heads and red bandannas around their necks. An investigation is continuing.

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