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Trial set for Royalton man in home invasion, chase

LOCKPORT -- Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza has scheduled a trial Aug. 22 for a Royalton man charged with leading police on a chase after entering a home on Hess Road in Newfane, tying up a man and a woman with a vacuum cleaner cord and striking the man with a baseball bat.

John P. Corra, 33, of Dewhirst Road, was named in an 11-count indictment that also accused him of stealing a Toyota 4Runner from the home and leading sheriff's deputies on a chase that ended on Chestnut Ridge Road in Royalton, where Corra allegedly lost control, exited the vehicle and was caught while fleeing on foot.

Sperrazza ruled Monday that the jury will be allowed to hear Deputy Charles Goupil, who captured Corra, testify that Corra told him without being asked that the home invasion was "about going to purchase pills and getting ripped off."

However, because Corra wasn't advised of his Miranda rights, Sperrazza ruled inadmissible the response to Goupil's follow-up question. Finding what appeared to be a controlled substance, Goupil asked Corra, "Is it crack?"

Corra allegedly replied with something to the effect of, "No, it's the stuff I just bought."


Wilson Pharmacy targeted in another burglary attempt

WILSON -- For the second time in four days, a burglary attempt was made at the Wilson Pharmacy on Petit Street. Both incidents were unsuccessful.

In the most recent attempt early Monday morning, a routine check by the Niagara County Sheriff's Office may have scared away a potential thief.

Deputies said they checked the pharmacy in the 200 block of Petit Street just before 2:30 a.m. and found nothing disturbed, but when they returned just before 4 a.m. they found a screen had been cut and someone had attempted, unsuccessfully, to pry open a window with a screwdriver.

The screen was found swinging, indicating that patrol may have interrupted the burglary, according to sheriff's deputies.

A burglary attempt was made at the same pharmacy just before 3 a.m. Friday and deputies responding to an alarm found that a screen had been pried off and the storm window was pried open.

A search found the store was clear and nothing was reported missing.

Security video shows a man attempting to enter the store, deputies said.


Man sentenced in drug sale says things are looking up

LOCKPORT -- A North Tonawanda man drew a two-year prison sentence Monday for selling narcotics in his driveway Jan. 13, but he said things are looking up.

Jodi L. Brancato, 29, of Sisson Drive, said his time in jail awaiting the resolution of his case may have broken his addiction to painkillers that started six years ago, when he was prescribed pain medication for multiple sclerosis.

"First time in six years I've been off drugs and I feel great," Brancato told Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza, who sentenced him for fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and for violating probation on a 2006 drug sale conviction.


Woman charged with DWI in Lockport problem area

TOWN OF LOCKPORT -- A woman was found driving while intoxicated by Niagara County sheriff's deputies in a problem area on Dysinger Road near Old Beattie Road, where numerous accidents have been reported recently and an unrelated DWI case resulted in a serious injury at the same location May 26.

Annie L. Gunn, 49, of Bear Ridge Road, was charged with DWI and a muffler/exhaust violation just after 6:32 p.m. Friday.

Gunn was stopped after a witness told deputies that she was driving all over the road. She was stopped by deputies after crossing the fog line. She told deputies that she had one beer at a local restaurant, but was found with a blood-alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit, deputies said.

On May 26 at the same site, Amy Schumacher, 36, of Gasport was charged with DWI and vehicular assault at the same site, after she struck two teens, Anthony Sammarco, 14, and Christian Shufelt, 13, both of Lockport, as they walked along the shoulder of the road in darkness at about 9 p.m. Schufelt was released from the hospital shortly after the crash and Sammarco has been upgraded from critical to fair condition.

Schumacher returns to Lockport Town Court on July 12.


Girl in critical condition after nearly drowning

A 13-year-old girl was listed in critical condition late Monday at Women and Children's Hospital after a near drowning in Cazenovia Creek, Buffalo Police reported.

The incident occurred about 4:30 p.m. when police said the girl slipped into the water near the Cazenovia Street bridge.

A male and others went into the water to rescue her and pulled her out, authorities said.

Emergency responders arrived to treat her at the scene and rushed her to Mercy Hospital.

She was later taken to Women & Children's Hospital, Buffalo police said.