Parking lot peddler enters not-guilty plea
LOCKPORT -- A Buffalo man pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Niagara County Court to an 11-count indictment accusing him of selling boxes containing crumpled newspapers to customers expecting computers or iPads in parking lots in the Town of Niagara and Niagara Falls between August and November.
Holiday G. Johnson, 48, of Brunswick Avenue, is charged with single counts of first- and second-degree robbery, four counts of fraudulent accosting, three counts of petit larceny and two counts of first-degree scheming to defraud.
Johnson and co-defendant Clifford D. Brown, 49, of Fourth Street, Niagara Falls, were accused in a total of eight incidents, although according to the indictment, Johnson acted alone in two cases, Sept. 9 and Nov. 20. In an Aug. 28 case, a knife allegedly was pulled on a man who sought to open the box before paying.
Assistant District Attorney Brian D. Seaman said Johnson was arrested Wednesday morning when Niagara County warrant officers found him hiding under a bed in his home, after no one answered the door for 20 minutes and his wife then insisted Johnson didn't live there.
Falls man, 52, accused of forcible touching
NIAGARA FALLS -- A Cleveland Avenue man was charged with forcible touching Tuesday after allegedly accosting a 25-year-old woman in her bedroom, police said.
Clinton "Pee Wee" Robertson, 52, was arrested at the scene, police said.
Police said the incident occurred at about 6 a.m., while the victim was in bed with her boyfriend. Robertson was quoting from the Bible at the time, police added.
Guilty plea entered in break-in at cabin
LOCKPORT -- Michael T. Doxey, 23, of Van Horn Street, Burt, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a reduced charge of attempted third-degree burglary for taking part in the June 12 break-in at a cabin on Maple Road in Wilson.
Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza scheduled sentencing for March 7. Also awaiting sentencing is co-defendant Jeffrey T. Wittcop, 28, of Lockwood Lane, Lockport, who pleaded guilty to the same charge Oct. 21.
In another plea Wednesday, Raymond G. Banas Jr., 39, of Niagara Avenue, Niagara Falls, admitted to misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and was scheduled for sentencing by Sperrazza April 6.
Banas was arrested July 5 after his pickup truck nearly struck a car at Niagara Avenue and 11th Street in the Falls. That happened four days after Banas pleaded guilty to another misdemeanor DWI charge in North Tonawanda.
Albion man gets prison for molesting boy, 15
LOCKPORT -- An Albion man was sentenced to four years in prison and 10 years' post-release supervision Wednesday for molesting a 15-year-old boy in Royalton on Jan. 18.
Joshua P. Reid, 42, of Phipps Road, had been convicted by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III in a nonjury trial that ended Nov. 3. The charges were third-degree criminal sexual act and endangering the welfare of a child.
Assistant Public Defender Alan J. Roscetti argued for probation, but Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth R. Donatello said that since the trial, Reid had been surfing the Internet for pornography and smoking marijuana. "The defendant will fail on probation," she predicted.
Burglary of apartment lands man behind bars
LOCKPORT -- Tommie B. Brown Jr., 36, of Fifth Street, Niagara Falls, was sentenced Wednesday to two to six years in prison for a Niagara Falls apartment burglary.
Brown had pleaded guilty before Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III to third-degree burglary for the Nov. 11, 2009, break-in. Co-defendant John Pollock, 28, of 25th Street, is awaiting sentencing on the same charge.
In another sentencing by Murphy on Wednesday, Dwayne A. Swanson, 45, of Second Avenue, North Tonawanda, drew six months in jail for third-degree assault. He and another man had been accused of beating up a man July 6, 2009, on Payne Avenue in North Tonawanda, although charges were dropped against the co-defendant.
Man denied blanket charged with attack
LOCKPORT -- A Washburn Street man who became violent early Tuesday after being denied a blanket that covered an infant was charged with assault, Lockport police said.
Frederick W. Lewis Jr., 18, was also charged with third-degree menacing and endangering the welfare of a child.
Police said a woman who denied him the blanket that was covering her 13-month-old daughter lying next to her was punched in the face and thigh. Lewis also punched her laptop screen and a hole in the wall, police said.
The woman was treated for a black eye and bruises, and damage was estimated at $550.
Lewis was charged Wednesday after he surrendered on a warrant, police said.