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Role in insurance fraud brings 1 1/2 to 3 years

A Concord man was sentenced Monday to 1 1/2 to three years in prison for helping a woman dump her car in a lake to try to collect from her insurance company.

Brett Whalen, 23, pleaded guilty Sept. 17 to the scam attempt. Prosecutor Justin T. Wallens said Whalen and former bank worker Roseanne Baglio, 46, of Springville, both pleaded guilty last September to fourth-degree insurance fraud in her failed attempt to get rid of the 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt on which she owed more than $14,000.

Whalen helped Baglio dump her car into what proved to be a too-shallow Red House Lake in Allegany State Park on March 13, 2010, and she immediately filed an insurance claim. However, a man walking his dog the next day saw the car and called authorities, the prosecutor said.

State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang fined Whalen $375 while imposing the prison term. However, defense attorney Paul Gordon Dell said Whalen already has completed a probation violation sentence on his 2008 Wyoming County drug conviction but has remained in custody since the insurance scheme collapsed. That means he will be eligible for parole on the new conviction within months, Dell said.

Six months ago, Wolfgang placed Baglio on probation on her plea.


Salamanca man charged with following someone

SALAMANCA -- City police have arrested a State Park Avenue man following a complaint that he was following a person around town.

Bruce E. Winship, 53, was charged with second-degree harassment Saturday and is to appear in City Court on July 8 to answer to the charge.


Toronto man, 82, killed in collision

OAKFIELD -- A Toronto man was killed shortly before noon Monday in a two-car crash on Route 63 here, according to state police.

Gerhard Zeyfang, 82, was northbound when he crossed the center line and entered the southbound lane. Zeyfang's vehicle was then struck by a southbound vehicle driven by Michael Zakes, 69, of Williamsville, who was unable to avoid the collision.

Zeyfang was pronounced dead at the scene. Zakes and his wife, Dianne, were taken to United Memorial Medical Center, Batavia. He was treated for minor contusions and abrasions, and she was treated for a fractured wrist.


Harassing phone calls lead to man's arrest

SALAMANCA -- A Portville man accused of making harassing phone calls was arrested Saturday by city police.

Frederick A. Palmeri, 52, of Court Street, was charged with second-degree aggravated harassment and is to appear in City Court on July 8.


Arcade man arrested on multiple charges

YORKSHIRE -- An Arcade man was arrested on a Yorkshire Town Court warrant last week by Cattaraugus County sheriff's deputies charging him with criminal contempt.

Clark W. Berry, 39, of Route 98, also was charged with second-degree harassment and arraigned in Yorkshire Town Court. He is being held in the county jail on separate charges.


June 19 incident results in arrest

COLDSPRING -- An incident earlier this month on Hardscrabble Road has led to the arrest of a Steamburg man on charges of trespass and second-degree harassment.

Scott M. Milks, 26, of Route 394, was taken into custody last week by Cattaraugus County sheriff's deputies on a Town of Coldspring warrant stemming from an incident June 19.

Following arraignment in Coldspring Town Court, Scott was released to return to court at a later date.


Ex-security employee gets six-month term

A former Brinks security employee was sentenced Monday to six months in prison by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

DeJason Moore, 34, of Buffalo, pleaded guilty in February to stealing $40,000 while working for the company. Moore admitted taking the money while working in the emergency cash bin vault area that was safeguarded by Brinks, according to U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr.


Motorcyclist accused in road-rage incident

A motorcyclist accused of throwing a rock at another vehicle during a road-rage incident later was clocked at 131 mph while fleeing Orchard Park police Sunday night.

The incident began at about 8:20 p.m. Sunday, when police received a report about a vehicle hit by the rock at Route 20A and Abbott Road. Officer Brian Gehring spotted the motorcycle on Armor Duells Road, but when he tried to stop it, it sped away.

Lt. Mark Pacholec, heading west on Armor Duells, clocked the eastbound motorcycle at 131 mph in a 55-mph zone. The motorcycle then went into a driveway on Chestnut Ridge Road, up a hill and into the woods, where it became bogged down in the mud.

Pacholec said he managed to chase down the operator on foot and arrest him. Jeffrey M. Dorenzo, 29, of Hamburg, was charged with more than 20 criminal and traffic violations.