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Sardinia collision kills one man, injures another

An elderly driver died and another motorist suffered serious injuries after a head-on crash on Route 16 in the Town of Sardinia just before 9 p.m. Wednesday, state police said.

Troopers said Jerome P. Kawalerski, 81, of Buffalo, was northbound on Route 16 when he veered into the oncoming lane and collided head-on with a vehicle driven by Karl Buresch, 52, of Chaffee.

Both men were trapped in their cars and were extricated by firefighters from the Holland and Chaffee volunteer fire companies.

Kawalerski suffered massive internal injuries and was pronounced dead on arrival at Mercy Hospital.

Buresch also suffered internal injuries and was being treated in Erie County Medical Center. Investigators said his injuries are not considered life-threatening.

A witness told police that there didn't appear to be a reason for Kawalerski to cross into the other lane. The road was snow-covered, but police do not think weather was a factor.

Investigators are awaiting results of an autopsy to determine whether Kawalerski suffered a medical problem.


Shotgun, television set taken in Falls burglary

NIAGARA FALLS -- A shotgun and 42-inch TV set were stolen from an apartment in the 8400 block of Buffalo Avenue after a third-story balcony window was kicked in, police said.

The brother-in-law of the victim reported the break-in Wednesday and said the victim was currently living with family in Michigan. He said the burglary happened sometime in the past three days.


Drug overdose death on Grand Island probed

The Wednesday morning death of a Grand Island man from a drug overdose may be tied to the dangerous form of heroin that has been making its way through the region, Erie County sheriff's officials reported.

Sheriff Timothy B. Howard said his office was investigating the death of the 19-year-old. Howard said sheriff's officials "strongly encourage" anyone suffering from an addiction to seek help through a doctor or clinic.


Jury finds alleged pimp not guilty of weapons charge

An Erie County Court jury found alleged pimp Michael Abdallah innocent on a weapons charge Thursday after a four-day trial.

Jailed since his arrest Feb. 5, Abdallah, 27, still faces charges of prostitution promotion, rape, criminal sexual act (sodomy), false statement and child endangerment involving four girls age 13 to 17 through late December 2009.

Abdallah was indicted last March after a 13-year-old girl testified that he kept her at his house on Thomas Street as a sex slave for several months before she escaped on Dec. 19, 2009.


Corrections officers attacked at Wende

An inmate at Wende Correctional Facility attacked two corrections officers Wednesday night before he could be subdued, a union official said.

Phillip Moreno, 35, who is serving eight to 10 years for weapon and drug possession, was being frisked shortly before 6:30 p.m. when he allegedly put the officer in a headlock and assaulted him in the head and face.

Another officer came to assist, and Moreno allegedly turned on him as well, breaking the officer's nose in two places. Other officers came to their assistance and subdued the inmate. The officer who was put in a headlock was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

Later Wednesday night, another inmate attacked a guard, and Thursday morning, there was another attack after which officers found a makeshift weapon on the inmate, the union official said.


Teen pleads not guilty to burglary indictment

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls teen pleaded not guilty to a burglary indictment Thursday in Niagara County Court.

Darius M. Belton, 17, of South Avenue, is charged with second-degree burglary, fourth-degree criminal mischief, petit larceny and attempted petit larceny. Assistant District Attorney Claudette S. Caldwell said Belton allegedly entered a home on 69th Street Oct. 18 and tried to steal a TV set but left with only the remote control.

A co-defendant, Regis Cox, 17, of Linwood Avenue, pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary before Niagara Falls City Judge Mark A. Violante and is awaiting sentencing.

Caldwell said that a third defendant in the case testified before the grand jury and that charges against him were dismissed.


Man accused of selling marijuana in library

A man selling marijuana in the Central Library on Lafayette Square in downtown Buffalo was booked on possession and sale of pot Wednesday, authorities said.

Tyrone Borden made the initial mistake of approaching a library security guard at about 4:30 p.m. and asking him if he was interested in buying some marijuana, according to Central District police.

Borden, 33, of Grote Street, was taken to the security office where he was found to have 16 purple bags containing marijuana, according to Police Officer Shelly Strobele-Lillis, who made the arrest.

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