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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Two witnesses hold suspect in vehicle thefts for police

NIAGARA FALLS -- Two men who saw thieves stealing from vehicles in the 200 block of 61st Street at about 1 a.m. Thursday caught and held one of them for police.

Noel J. Binns, 17, of 22nd Street, was charged with petit larceny. Binns admitted to taking two iPods and throwing them in some bushes, but officers said the items were gone.

Binns said he and a "guy he didn't know" just meet up every night around 21st Street and Ferry Avenue and "go steal stuff from cars."

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Three Lockport High girls suspended after fight

LOCKPORT -- Three Lockport High School girls are suspended and two are charged after a fight at the school that injured a staff member and a student just after noon Wednesday.

The fight began between a 16-year-old Massachusetts Avenue girl and a Webb Street girl who is under 16.

High school staff intervened to break up an argument between the two girls, when the juvenile reportedly reached over and struck the older girl in the face.

The juvenile was immediately suspended for five days. As she waited for her mother, the girl she struck and another 16-year-old girl reportedly ran toward her, and another fight broke out in the hallway. Security coordinator Joseph Poole was struck in the mouth and suffered a cut lip as he and patrol attempted to pull the girls apart.

The two 16-year-olds were charged with disorderly conduct and the juvenile was referred to Youth Court.

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Man accused of threatening police with steak knife

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Ninth Street man allegedly threatened police with a steak knife when they attempted to arrest him just after 8:30 p.m. Wednesday for assaulting a woman.

Timothy L. Jackson, 36, was charged with third-degree assault and second-degree menacing.

A 38-year-old woman was found with a large contusion on her head. She said Jackson threw her to the ground following a fight and she fled, calling him "very violent."

Police said they encountered Jackson holding a steak knife and saying, "Don't come near me."

Police said they used a taser, which hit Jackson's thick fleece vest and startled him. He then put the knife down and was taken into custody.

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As part of plea bargain, vehicle will be forfeited

LOCKPORT -- Jason M. Richardson, a Continental Drive man who left a bag of cocaine in the middle of Park Avenue after tussling with a city police officer who stopped his car on a traffic infraction, will have to forfeit the auto to the federal government as part of a plea bargain arranged Thursday in Niagara County Court.

Richardson, 34, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, to settle the Aug. 7 incident. He could receive a year in the County Jail when Judge Matthew J. Murphy III sentences him May 27.

Defense attorney Robert R. Fogg said part of the deal was dropping a challenge to an effort by the U.S. attorney's office in Buffalo to seize the car. It was pulled over by Officer Robert Richards, who suffered elbow and finger injuries when Richardson knocked him down and fled. He was arrested Aug. 12.

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Drunken driver gets one year in jail

LOCKPORT -- One year in Niagara County Jail was the sentence for a drunken driver Thursday from County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III.

Joe L. Harris II, 44, of 21st Street, Niagara Falls, had pleaded guilty to a felony count of driving while intoxicated in the wake of his arrest July 29 following a 2 a.m. drag race on Hyde Park Boulevard in the Town of Niagara, which, police said, reached speeds of up to 110 mph.

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Unlit firebomb breaks window in Falls home

NIAGARA FALLS -- An unlit Molotov cocktail broke a window at a home in the 1100 block of Pierce Avenue house where 10 people were living, including four children, police said Wednesday morning.

A 50-year-old woman said a neighbor was seen just after 6 a.m. throwing a bottle at the window. The suspect had been evicted by his landlord, according to a man who also lives in the home. He told police he is helping the landlord with the eviction.

Police found a wine bottle filled with gasoline in the alley outside the damaged window, but said it apparently had not been lit.

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Felony DWI charged after stop in Falls

NIAGARA FALLS -- An 80th Street man pulled over by police on the 500 block of Cayuga Street at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday was found to have several convictions for driving while intoxicated over the past 10 years, city police said.

Gary R. Custo, 57, was charged with felony DWI and was found to have a suspended license and no insurance. He also was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, police said. He said he was unable to take the sobriety tests at the scene. Police said he refused to take a blood test.

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