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POLICE & COURTS

Parolee's 'bail' bid halted during transit

NAPOLI -- A Napoli man who was arrested on a parole violation allegedly attempted to escape from his parole officer's car while he was on the way to the Cattaraugus County jail.

Ivan J. Bowles, 48, of Route 242, was arrested Monday evening at his home by Cattaraugus County sheriff's deputies and state parole officers on charges of possessing a weapon.

Bowles is on parole for a May 16, 2008, driving while intoxicated conviction in county court. A parole officer found Bowles drinking alcohol and with a semiautomatic rifle during a routine home visit.

After being handcuffed for transport to the nearby county jail, Bowles unhooked his seat belt, opened the front passenger door and attempted to jump from the vehicle. The parole officer held onto Bowles while calling for assistance from deputies.

Bowles was taken to the jail and charged with parole violation, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree attempted escape and is being held without bail.

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Man accused of biting cheek of girlfriend

SALAMANCA -- Lucas J. Letcher, 31, of Route 353, is facing charges following an argument early Sunday with his girlfriend during which he is accused of biting her on her cheek to stop her from calling 911.

Letcher was taken into custody by Cattaraugus County sheriff's deputies and charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief, second-degree criminal contempt and second-degree harassment. He is being held on $500 bail following court arraignment.

Officers said the victim had an order of protection against Letcher.

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Armed store robbery brings five-year term

Nathaniel "Tony" Johnson, still proclaiming his innocence, was sentenced to five years in prison Tuesday for the $3,000 armed robbery of a Delaware Avenue convenience store last spring.

Johnson, 41, has been jailed since his arrest in May for the April 23 stickup of the Wilson Farms store at 2458 Delaware at Tacoma Avenue. He insisted the store manager falsely identified him as the man who accosted him at gunpoint as he was opening the store at about 5 a.m.

The jury found Johnson guilty of first-degree robbery after two days of deliberations following a trial before State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns.

After the sentencing, prosecutor Paul M. Michalek Jr. noted that Buffalo Detective Patricia Wrest testified that when she went to Johnson's house to question him about a robbery at Delaware and Tacoma, he blurted out that he had never been in that store.

Wrest told the jury she hadn't mentioned that it was a store robbery before Johnson made his heated denial, which led to his arrest, the prosecutor said.

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3 firefighters injured at Selkirk Street blaze

Three Buffalo firefighters were treated for minor injuries they suffered late Monday night while battling a fire that destroyed a vacant house in South Buffalo.

Firefighters responded to an alarm shortly before 11:30 p.m. at 159 Selkirk St., near Smith Street, between Seneca Street and the Niagara Thruway. Damage was estimated at $35,000.

Fire officials requested emergency demolition of the burned-out house. The cause remains under investigation.

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