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POLICE & COURTS

Elderly man rescued from Niagara River

An elderly man was saved from drowning in the Niagara River on Saturday after a Good Samaritan used a grappling hook to keep him afloat until rescuers arrived.

Witnesses said they saw the unidentified man straddle a fence in Broderick Park, at the foot of West Ferry Street, before toppling into the fast-moving current at about 4:30 p.m.

One onlooker, Pedro Rodriguez, used a grappling hook supplied by another to snag the man's clothing and keep his head above water until firefighters from Engine 37 and Ladder 4 pulled him to safety. The man, unconscious but stable, was taken to Erie County Medical Center.

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Police probe shooting of man, 34, in Amherst

A 34-year-old man was found with several bullet wounds as Amherst police responded to a report of shots fired on Allenhurst Road early Saturday.

Police arrived in the 500 block of Allenhurst at about 1:20 a.m. The victim was taken to Erie County Medical Center.

A dark-colored SUV was seen leaving the area shortly after the report of gunshots.

The victim's name is not being released pending notification of his family.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Amherst police at 689-1322.

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Buffalo man shot twice as his car is stolen

A Buffalo man was shot twice and his car was hijacked when he and a companion were standing outside the 1999 Cadillac on Woltz Avenue early Saturday.

Harold Pointer, 33, of East Amherst Street, was talking to a friend outside the car shortly after midnight when three men approached them, pulled out a gun, and ordered them to surrender the vehicle.

The victims refused and during a fight over the gun, Pointer was shot twice in the left forearm, police said.

Two of the attackers took off running, police said, and a third stole the car.

Further information was unavailable.

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Tip leads to arrest of two in car break-in

Buffalo police credited a witness who called them as he watched two men break into a car on the city's West Side on Friday morning.

Officer Anthony Shea who answered the call arrested the two men at West Utica Street and Rhode Island Avenue. Charged with criminal mischief, possession of stolen property and other charges were Juan Rodriguez and Carlos Corrales, both 21, and both from Buffalo.

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Uninsured man accused of damaging patrol car

A Buffalo man was accused of damaging a Buffalo police cruiser Friday night after he was told not to drive his car because he lacked insurance.

Officer Dennis Kessler said he gave James R. Thomas, 23, of Chadduck Avenue, a traffic ticket for driving without insurance and told him not to drive.

Kessler said as he walked back to his police car, Thomas put his car in reverse, nearly struck the officer and ran into his patrol car.

Taken to the Erie County Holding Center, Thomas was charged with promoting prison contraband after Erie County sheriff's deputies said they found a handcuff key in his pocket.

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Gunman injures victim of 2 previous shootings

A Colvin Avenue man shot on two separate occasions in 1998 was shot again early Saturday as he walked with two other men on Genesee Street near Sherman Avenue, police said.

Philip Purdue, 31, told police that an unknown man approached the trio about 1:30 a.m., fired several shots and hit him in the left thigh.

A spokeswoman at Erie County Medical Center said Saturday afternoon that Purdue had undergone surgery and did not have a condition to report for him. Purdue was shot in the right sternum in April 1998, and two months later, was shot in the left knee.

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