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Probation set in 'grenade' scare

Tauyara Mapps was spared a jail term Monday by Buffalo City Judge E. Jeannette Ogden for causing the panic that emptied the seven-story Erie County Family Court Building downtown April 2. But she was placed on probation for three years and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

Emily Trott, Mapps' attorney, told the judge her client is "extremely remorseful" that she absent-mindedly carried a gearshift nob shaped like a hand grenade into the court building, setting off the metal detectors and prompting the building to be emptied about for two hours.

On June 10, Mapps pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge of attempting to place a fake bomb or hazardous substance in a public place.

Prosecutor Jaharr S. Pennington said Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III agreed to drop the felony charge of placing a fake bomb as long as Mapps was not facing a conditional discharge.

Trott said Mapps had gone to Family Court seeking court-ordered child support payments.

Trott said Mapps put the decorative item in her purse because, when she parked in an adjacent city ramp, signs on the walls warned car owners that thefts were the owner's responsibility.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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