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POLICE & COURTS

Two injured in crash of Metro Bus, three cars

Two people were taken to Erie County Medical Center with minor injuries following a Bailey Avenue crash involving three cars and an NFTA Metro Bus, according to reports.

The crash occurred at about 4:15 p.m. on Bailey between Main Street and Winspear Avenue, according to authorities. The two victims were taken to ECMC by Rural/Metro Medical Services.

The cause of the crash was under investigation.

Further details were unavailable.

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Melee in North Buffalo defused by Buffalo police

Buffalo police from three districts as well as officers from the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority police converged on a large fight involving as many as 30 students on Main Street near Hertel and LaSalle avenues Thursday afternoon, police reported.

The incident began about 3:30 p.m. Police were called to the area for the report of a large fight after school. It was believed that some of the students involved were from nearby Bennett High School, but it was unclear how many, authorities said.

Officers from the Ferry-Fillmore, Northwest and Northeast districts were dispatched, along with NFTA officers.

"The quick response of not only Buffalo officers from those from Transit kept this from escalating out of control," said Michael J. DeGeorge, Buffalo police spokesman.

No serious injuries were reported. The cause of the melee was still being investigated.

At least two arrests were made, DeGeorge said.

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Parolee in drug case faces a new charge

A Buffalo man on parole in a drug case was arrested Wednesday after state police found him in possession of more than a gram of crack cocaine, troopers said.

Daryl W. Cates, 28, was stopped at Marshall and Northampton streets by troopers participating in Operation Impact. Police charged Cates with criminal possession of a controlled substance and violating parole. He was taken to the Erie County Holding Center pending arraignment.

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Store on Larkin Street is target of burglary

South District police are investigating a burglary at Uncle Sam's Army Navy Store on Larkin Street overnight Wednesday, Buffalo police said.

Taken were a cash drawer containing $150 and 10 knives valued at $1,000. A computer system and monitor were damaged, police said. Police were alerted to the break-in at about 6 a.m. Thursday.

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Police probe holdup of bank on Elmwood

Northwest District police are investigating a robbery at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at the HSBC Bank branch at 1001 Elmwood Ave. near Bidwell Parkway.

The bandit passed a note to a teller stating, "Give me the money, no dye pack," and told her, "Give me the hundreds."

The robber fled on Elmwood and onto on Bidwell, and police recovered the dye pack in the 100 block of Bidwell, along with some cash.

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Drive-by shooting wounds man, 22, on West Avenue

A 22-year-old man was being treated for gunshot wounds inflicted Thursday morning on the city's West Side, Buffalo police said.

Saul Santana, no address listed, was struck in the right forearm and groin just after 8:30 a.m. in a drive-by shooting near Virginia Street and West Avenue, police said.

Santana was taken by ambulance to Erie County Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition late Thursday.

The shooter fled north on West Avenue, and police said they recovered numerous rounds near the scene. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 847-2255.

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Bookkeeper repays money; sentencing is delayed

Tracy Staerr on Thursday repaid the money she stole while a bookkeeper for an Elma company. A judge granted a defense request to put off her sentencing for two weeks.

Defense attorney Michael M. Mohun turned over a bank check for $30,000 to SL Installations and advised the judge he will be mailing a check for $1,665 to the state tax department to cover his client's tax problems.

Mohun said Staerr, 42, of Alden, needs a delay of sentencing to attend to "personal matters." Erie County Judge Shirley Troutman adjourned sentencing to Oct. 8.

Staerr pleaded guilty June 11 to fourth-degree grand larceny and offering a false instrument for filing a false 2007 state tax return.

She remains free on $25,000 previously posted bail.

Staerr faces a possible four-year state prison term but is expected to receive a local jail term should the judge decide incarceration is warranted, court officials said.

Staerr wrote company checks to herself between Feb. 1, 2007, and last January, prosecutors said.

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