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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Ruling due on admissibility of videos in sex assault case

LOCKPORT -- Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza is expected to rule Thursday on whether videos of police interviews of Kim I. Tipton, charged with sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl and cutting her throat, can be played at his trial next month.

Sperrazza held a hearing last week in which police officers testified on the circumstances surrounding the interviews.

Tipton, 32, of Jarrett Drive, Lewiston, allegedly entered the victim's Niagara Falls home about 5 a.m. May 21. He faces a 16-count indictment that includes charges of attempted murder and predatory sexual assault against a child. The latter carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

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Falls man admits receiving housing aid improperly

A Niagara Falls man faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for failing to accurately report his income, which allowed him to get rental assistance illegally from the government.

George McCray, 67, a former resident of the Spallino Towers housing project, pleaded guilty Thursday to theft of public money before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. Between 2005 and 2010, McCray was accused of receiving more than $16,000 in rental assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that he was not entitled to.

McCray claimed Social Security benefits as his only source of income, failing to include workers' compensation benefits he also was receiving at the time. He is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 13.

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Man wounded in shooting that also damaged home

NIAGARA FALLS -- A 21st Street man was shot in the leg and shoulder as he walked up to his home just before 3 a.m. Friday, police said. A suspect was spotted fleeing the scene on a bicycle.

Police said that 43-year-old James E. Mallory Jr. was struck by shots fired from a neighbor's backyard. He fled to the street and was picked up by a friend who drove him to Mount St. Mary's Hospital in Lewiston.

Police said they found two bullet holes in a Cadillac parked in front of Mallory's home, as well as a bullet hole in the home's siding. A side window also had been shattered. Police had no motive for the shooting and released no further details.

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Lockport man accused of stealing trailer

NEWFANE -- Sheriff's deputies have arrested one man and are seeking another in connection with the theft of a homemade trailer from a property on Lockport-Olcott Road.

Neighbors saw two men in a pickup truck tow the trailer from the home Friday morning, and an alert witness was able to give police the license plate number from the vehicle. Deputies used that to track down 53-year-old James A. Laffosse at his home on Bright Street in Lockport.

Laffosse reportedly told deputies that a man asked him to help pick up a trailer, which they then sold to a scrap yard in Gasport for $95. Laffosse told deputies he did not know the trailer was stolen. He was charged with petit larceny and trespassing.

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Woman accused of exposing herself to officers in car

NIAGARA FALLS -- Police driving an unmarked vehicle arrested a city woman Friday after she reportedly approached their vehicle and exposed a breast to them.

Christina L. John, 29, of Rainbow Boulevard, then reportedly furnished a false name. The incident occurred around 7:30 p.m. in the 2200 block of Welch Avenue, police said.

She was charged with loitering, second-degree criminal impersonation and exposure of a person, and also was found to have outstanding warrants on a felony assault charge and a parole violation.

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Tractor catches fire after tipping in field

SANBORN -- A vintage tractor sustained about $5,000 damage Saturday when it caught fire after tipping over while being used to work a field east of Old Shawnee Road, sheriff's deputies said.

A 50-year-old Baer Road man was working his property around 12:30 p.m. when the 1950 Ferguson tractor flipped, deputies said. He was able to right it with a tow truck, but noticed leaking fuel, which quickly triggered a fire. A crew from the Cambria Fire Company doused the flames. No one was hurt.

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Robbery victim gives chase to assailant, is attacked

NIAGARA FALLS -- A robbery victim got more than he bargained for while trying to chase his assailant early Saturday, police said.

The 46-year-old Main Street man was robbed of $45 as he left a corner store in the 1800 block of Niagara Avenue just after midnight, police said. The robber fled south down 18th Street with the victim in pursuit. As he caught up to the thief, however, four or five other men converged and attacked the victim again, punching and kicking him in the head and body.

The victim was taken to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center for treatment of broken ribs and other injuries. His designer dress shoes were stolen in the attack, police said.