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>Three accused of aiming laser light at aircraft

Three men were arrested late Thursday after they pointed a laser device at a commercial aircraft and the Erie County Sheriff's Office helicopter from a yard on Griswold Street in Kaisertown, Buffalo police said.

Timothy Voigt, 42, and his son, Eric Voigt, 20, both of Griswold Street, and Bradley J. Campbell, 28, of Barnard Street, were charged each with multiple counts of felony reckless endangerment. Police said they pointed the green laser device at a FedEx airliner about 8:45 p.m.

The FedEx pilots contacted Buffalo police and the sheriff's Air One helicopter conducted a search of the neighborhood, police said. Police said the pilot of the sheriff's helicopter, Capt. Kevin Caffery, was "momentarily disoriented" by the laser light. There were two passengers in the helicopter at the time.

The case is likely to be referred to the FBI, police said.


>Woman struck by car, is in critical condition

An East Amherst woman was fighting for her life late Thursday after she was hit by a car while crossing South Park Avenue and pinned against a parked minivan, Buffalo police said.

At about 2:20 p.m., the 30-year-old victim stepped off the curb onto South Park Avenue at Aldrich Place near the Botanical Gardens and was struck by a white sedan, according to Michael J. DeGeorge, Buffalo police spokesman.

"She was subsequently pinned against a parked minivan in the right-hand lane," DeGeorge said. "Witnesses told police the driver may have been traveling at a high rate of speed."

DeGeorge said charges had yet to be lodged. The victim was taken by Rural/Metro Medical Services to Erie County Medical Center with serious trauma to both legs and was listed in critical condition late Thursday. The identities of the victim and driver were not released.


>Contractor charged in theft of resident's cash, debit card

A home improvement contractor is facing felony charges after he allegedly stole cash and a debit card from a Grand Island home where he was working, Erie County sheriff's officials reported Thursday.

Jesse Smigielski, 28, was charged with identity theft and grand larceny, both felonies, and petit larceny, a misdemeanor, in connection with the thefts on Whitehaven Road.

Investigators charged that Smigielski was hired by the victim to work inside the home and Smigielski allegedly took cash and the debit card from the home and then used it to make purchases at a nearby convenience store, which was recorded on video.

Smigielski was already being held in the Erie County Holding Center on an unrelated larceny charge from Lancaster.


>Debt collector to remain free on bail in gun case

Tobias Boyland, a local debt collector, was allowed to remain free on previously posted $150,000 bail following his arraignment Thursday before State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller on a multicount weapons indictment linked to his June 23 arrest.

Boyland, 43, of Harvard Place, who pleaded innocent, faces a prison term of up to 50 years if convicted as charged, Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III said.

After Boyland's arrest, Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, whose office took part in the continuing investigation, said the seizing of eight handguns, an assault rifle and $35,000 in cash put a dent in what he described as one of the more egregious debt-collection operations his office has found.

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