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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Motorcyclist is charged after death of passenger

LEWISTON -- A City of Tonawanda motorcycle operator was charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated in a crash with a pickup truck that killed his passenger at about 6 p.m. Saturday, Lewiston town police reported Sunday.

Lewiston police charged Douglas A. Bruce, 43, with DWI, vehicular manslaughter and aggravated unlicensed operation, along with other charges.

Pauline A. VanThiel, 51, of the City of Tonawanda, was taken by Mercy Flight to Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo, where she died in the emergency room at about 7:15 p.m., authorities said.

Town of Lewiston police Sgt. Frank Previte said the motorcycle was westbound on Upper Mountain Road between Garlow and Indian Hill roads when it crossed the center line, colliding head-on with the pickup.

Both VanThiel and Bruce were ejected. He suffered minor injuries, described as abrasions, and refused treatment, police said. The pickup truck driver was not injured, and no charges were filed against him.

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Silver coins valued at $2,300 stolen

NEWFANE -- A burglar made off with $2,300 worth of silver coins after breaking into a Corwin Station residence sometime over the past two weeks, sheriff's deputies said Sunday.

The homeowner told deputies he discovered the theft upon checking his bedroom safe Saturday. He found the safe door slightly ajar before noticing numerous coins missing. Several other coins and other valuables had been left behind in the safe, deputies said.

Deputies found no signs of forced entry to the residence.

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Strong-arm robbers take $110 from man

NEWFANE -- A 24-year-old Lockport man told police he was the victim of a strong-arm robbery Friday evening near the Dollar General store on McKee Street.

The victim, a Lake Road resident, told sheriff's deputies that he was at Mark's Pizza when a man came to his vehicle, grabbed his shirt and demanded money. A woman held the passenger side door of the victim's car shut during the altercation, it was reported.

The victim handed over $110 before the pair fled to a nearby van and drove off, deputies said.

Two suspects were named, but deputies went to their Beebe Road residence in Wilson within five minutes of the reported incident and found both at home, with no signs that their vehicles had been used recently. An investigation is continuing.

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Aggravated DWI charged following a traffic stop

NEWFANE -- A burned-out license plate light and some erratic driving led to the arrest of a Burt man early Saturday on a charge of driving while intoxicated, police reported.

Gary R. Weidel, 42, of Godfrey Road, was pulled over on Jackson Street near Lockport-Olcott Road at about 1:30 a.m. Deputies said he had been drifting within his traffic lane prior to the stop and measured a 0.18 blood-alcohol concentration, more than twice the legal limit for driving.

Weidel was charged with aggravated DWI, failure to use a designated lane and having an inadequate plate lamp.

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Two elderly women in crash are seriously injured

Two elderly women suffered serious injuries at about 2:50 p.m. Sunday when their car missed a curve, hit several small trees and came to rest upside down in the middle of Partridge Road in the Town of Holland, the Erie County Sheriff's Office reports.

The women, whose names were withheld pending notification of family members, were taken to Erie County Medical Center, where both were reported in serious condition. Deputies said the accident occurred about a quarter mile east of Philips Road.

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Shots fired after man is stabbed in abdomen

A man was stabbed in the abdomen, and numerous shots were fired during a violent disturbance in a gas-station parking lot at Delaware and West Delavan avenues early Sunday morning.

Rashawn Walker, of Burgard Place, was listed in stable condition late Sunday in Erie County Medical Center.

Walker told Northwest District police that he got into an argument in the Sunoco station parking lot shortly before 3 a.m. with an unknown person who stabbed him in the lower left abdomen and left hand.

The victim got into a taxi to go to ECMC when the shots were fired in the area, according to police reports.

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Three armed men stage robbery at clothing store

Three men armed with handguns and wearing masks or scarves over their faces took some cash and clothing from an East Side clothing store shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday.

The thieves, also wearing hooded sweat shirts, forced the owner and two employees onto the floor at gunpoint in the store in the 800 block of Jefferson Avenue, north of Genesee Street.

The robbers fled with the cash, a jacket, six pairs of jeans and three pairs of sneakers, Central District police reported.

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