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POLICE & COURTS

Drinking, drug use lead to stabbing, police say

NIAGARA FALLS -- An Ashland Avenue man was stabbed in the back Friday after a night of drinking and drug use, police said.

Casamir Norman, 26, suffered a punctured lung and was taken to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. His condition was unavailable late Saturday.

Police said Norman and his girlfriend spent the evening drinking with a man in his 94th Street home. When they attempted to leave about 9:30 p.m., the man stabbed Norman with a pocket knife, police said.

No arrest has been made.

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Police issue warning about tax scam e-mails

With the tax-filing season now upon us, look out for an e-mail scam that tries to gain personal and financial information such as Social Security, bank account and credit card numbers that can be used to commit identity theft.

City of Tonawanda Police said the scam has surfaced among e-mails sent to City Hall employees.

The e-mails lead recipients to believe they're eligible for tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service. The e-mail leads recipients to a page that looks like an IRS refund page, and then onto a bogus refund form that asks for the personal information.

The IRS does not ask for personal information, passwords or account numbers through e-mails, the police said.

Those receiving the e-mail and wishing to report it can visit the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov for instructions.

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Dunkin' Donuts safe in Ransomville looted

RANSOMVILLE -- Niagara County sheriff's deputies are investigating the overnight theft of more than $1,000 in cash from a Dunkin' Donuts on Youngstown-Lockport Road, sheriff's deputies said Saturday.

A manager checking the store safe Saturday morning found about half of the overnight deposits missing, deputies said. Store surveillance videos are being examined, deputies added. The money was removed from a safe in a back room of the business. Store officials said they were changing the locks on the store doors and safe.

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Boy complains of abuse by legal guardian

NIAGARA FALLS -- The state Child Abuse Hotline was notified Friday after an 11-year-old complained of excessive corporal punishment by his legal guardian.

The boy had been picked up by his mother for her weekly visitation when she noticed that his face was reddened and swollen. The boy told her that his guardian had slapped him several times following an argument.

The boy went on to say that he has been physically abused in the past, on occasion with a belt. An investigation is continuing.

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Man near 3407 site faces drunken driving charges

A Clarence man who drove up to a checkpoint near the crash site of Continental Flight 3407 on Friday was arrested after an Erie County sheriff's deputy noticed that he appeared to be drunk, officials said.

Donald L. Krawczyk, 51, of Brookside Drive, apparently drove up to the checkpoint at the intersection of Roll Road and Goodrich Road. Deputy Gene Nati noted that Krawczyk "showed signs of intoxication as he spoke with the deputy," a Sheriff's Office statement read.

Krawczyk allegedly failed several field sobriety tests and was arrested for driving while intoxicated. His blood-alcohol content was 0.14 percent, nearly twice the legal limit, officials said.

He was released to a third party on a traffic summons pending arraignment in Clarence Town Court at a later date.

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Man and his sister held in one-car crash

NIAGARA FALLS -- Two members of the same family ended up in jail Saturday following an early morning one-car crash on Hyde Park Boulevard.

Police said John-Christian Kaczor, 30, of David Drive, drove his car into a tree shortly before 6 a.m. He was charged with driving while intoxicated, speeding, unlicensed operation and other violations, police said.

Kaczor's sister, Crista L. Kaczor, 34, also of David Drive, was charged with obstructing governmental administration, police said.

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Falls man, 24, admits $4,000 cigarette scam

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man pleaded guilty Friday to stealing $4,000 from a man in a cigarette scam on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation.

John T. Billings Jr., 24, of 92nd Street, admitted to fourth-degree grand larceny and was scheduled for sentencing April 28 by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III. Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann said charges are pending against two co-defendants in the Sept. 14 theft.

Hoffmann said the three men managed to convince the victim that they had access to large quantities of tax-free cigarettes on the reservation, and the victim paid his money but received no smokes.

Hoffmann said investigators came up with a photo of Billings posing with the victim's cash spread across his chest.

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