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One held, two sought in violent robbery

With one man in custody Tuesday, investigators continued to search for two other men who took part of an armed robbery at a Kentucky Fried Chicken on West Avenue Monday night.

"This was a pretty violent crime. I'm hoping the [district attorney's] office will look at this. Not only was a police officer hurt, which is pretty significant, but they went into a KFC and were terrorizing the people that work there," Police Chief Lawrence M. Eggert said.

"They held guns to people's heads, shoved them around, had them on the ground with guns to the back of their heads, threatened to kill them. They threatened these poor clerks who are just doing their jobs," Eggert said.

According to police reports each of the men had a gun, and one of them discharged his gun, breaking a window in the door.
One of the men jumped over the counter and ordered the clerk to hand over the money in the register, and another forced a clerk to open a safe in the back of the store.

Lt. Brian Wentland suffered minor upper body injuries when his car was rammed by the thieves' vehicle at Red Line Automotive. He was treated and released from Eastern Niagara Hospital in Lockport.

"They waited until he got out of the car and tried to ram the police car. It's pretty disturbing. They had escape routes on both sides, but they purposely tried to run him over," Eggert said.

Eggert said the man waited until Wentland got out and then tried to hit him. When the suspect's car came at him, Wentland saw it coming and was able to jump up onto the running board of his patrol car.

"The injuries really could have been much more significant," Eggert said.

e-mail: nfischer@buffnews.com

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