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Teen admits damaging three vehicles

As he pleaded guilty Tuesday to damaging three vehicles, a Lockport teenager said committing crimes gives him a rush.

"Honestly, it's an adrenalin rush to me. I realize it's stupid," said Daniel L. Swann, 17, of Franklin Avenue, after Niagara County Court Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza asked why he went on a crime spree July 29-31.

Swann pleaded guilty to first-degree auto stripping for spraying graffiti on one vehicle and smashing the driver's side windows of two others July 30.

Assistant District Attorney Joseph A. Scalzo said Swann and a codefendant, Dakota J. Hewitt, 17, of Genesee Street, Lockport, allegedly committed about a dozen break-ins involving cars and garages.

On the night of July 29-30, they worked on Purdy and Ridge roads in the Town of Lockport, and the next night they headed for Aiken Road in Pendleton.

Scalzo said they were arrested that night near the City of Lockport wastewater treatment plant, where a police officer became suspicious when he saw two youths carrying a flat-screen TV on their bicycles.

Investigators said the TV had been stolen from a home on Aiken Road.

Swann sought admission to the judicial diversion program for court-supervised drug treatment, but Sperrazza doubted his eligibility. However, he will be screened, and if found eligible, the crime to which he admitted will be changed to third-degree burglary.

The penalty for that is the same as the auto stripping charge: a maximum seven years in prison. But success in the diversion program could bring a major reduction or dismissal of the charges.

Hewitt is scheduled for a court appearance today that could include a preindictment plea.

Sperrazza said Swann must pay $490 restitution, which is half of the total owed. The balance presumably would be assessed to Hewitt.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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