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POLICE & COURTS

Lancaster woman, 53, dies after ATV crash

The driver of an ATV died Saturday after hitting a rough spot and crashing on Aero Drive near Holtz Drive in Cheektowaga,

Police said Deborah Hoddick, 53, of Lancaster, was alert and talking after the accident but later died in Erie County Medical Center.

Cheektowaga police Capt. John A. Glascott said Hoddick is believed to have died of internal injuries.

Glascott said the woman was riding with her 6-year-old grandson, who was not seriously injured and reportedly ran home to alert his grandfather to the accident.

The accident occurred Saturday afternoon, but the woman did not die until later in the day.

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Collision leaves passenger in critical condition

An Amherst woman was in critical condition in Erie County Medical Center following a Sunday afternoon crash on the Thruway in Hamburg involving a car and a recreational vehicle.

Donna G. Nappa, 39, a passenger in the RV, was taken by Rural/Metro ambulance to ECMC at about 4 p.m.

State police said Jason A. Hoover, 39, of Orchard Park, was eastbound between Exits 56 and 55 when for an unknown reason he lost control of his car and veered onto the shoulder.

Hoover then overcorrected his steering, causing the car to return sideways to the roadway, where he was struck by the RV, driven by Joseph W. Poole, 58, of Syracuse.

Hoover was taken to ECMC with non-life threatening injuries.

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Two arrested in theft of lawn cart in park

Police officers on bike patrol arrested two men Friday for allegedly trying to steal a motorized lawn cart from Cazenovia Park's casino building.

Jamie A. Harrier, 24, and Christopher Tredo, 26, were charged with third-degree burglary, unauthorized use of a vehicle and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

Police said they saw the suspects leaving the casino building, which serves as the Olmsted Parks Conservancy storage area for Cazenovia Park, with the cart.

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Sardinia woman faces sentencing on DWI plea

LITTLE VALLEY -- A Sardinia woman who pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated will be sentenced Nov. 4 in Cattaraugus County Court.

Dawn M. Close, 48, pleaded guilty to DWI and with a blood alcohol count of 0.15 percent and driving without a license due to a prior DWI conviction last Aug. 25 in the Town of Yorkshire.

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Court appearance set in contact with girl

A 33-year-old man accused of improper contact with a 15-year-old girl will appear Tuesday in Tonawanda City Court.

Robert P. Zahm, of North Tonawanda, surrendered July 26 to City of Tonawanda police on a warrant issued by Judge Joseph A. Cassata. Zahm was charged with misdemeanor counts of sexual abuse, forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child.

Zahm and the teen met through a theater group they belong to, according to police Capt. Lori Rank, and Zahm began tutoring her.

"At some point they had some time alone, and that's when the touching occurred," Rank said, citing investigative reports. When the girl realized the behavior was inappropriate, she told her mother, who called police.

Police were contacted July 15, Rank said. "The mother believed it was going on for a few weeks," Rank said.

Following his initial appearance before the judge, Zahm was released pending Tuesday's court date.

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Rare coins, jewelry stolen from home

TOWN OF LOCKPORT -- A troubled young man recently used three rare silver coins belonging to his godfather's wife to purchase cigarettes, Niagara County sheriff's deputies said. The coins, dating to the 1700s and 1800s, were valued at $20,000.

Deputies said the man also pawned four jeweled rings belonging to the woman, including a wedding band, receiving $150 for rings valued in excess of $4,000. The South Transit Road auction house that took the rings recently told the victim that it no longer has them on hand.

According to reports, the suspect took the items while the victim was on vacation. The coins were passed at a Noco store next to the pawn shop, deputies said. The victim refused to press charges but said she has evicted the suspect and his girlfriend from her home, where she allowed him to stay.

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Orchard Park man arrested on aggravated DWI charge

MAYVILLE -- Chautauqua County sheriff's deputies arrested an Orchard Park man for aggravated driving while intoxicated over the weekend.

Gary Czerwinski, 47, was pulled over on Route 20 in the Town of Pomfret at about 2:22 a.m. Sunday and was found to have a 0.18 percent blood alcohol level.

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Amherst driver accused of DWI along Route 242

ELLICOTTVILLE -- An Amherst woman was arrested for drunken driving on Route 242 by Cattaraugus County sheriff's deputies who said she failed to use hazard lights. Amanda L. Wenner, 42, of Tonawanda Creek Road, was charged July 31.