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POLICE & COURTS

Motorcyclist, 40, killed in Great Valley crash

GREAT VALLEY -- A 40-year-old East Otto man died Saturday when his motorcycle crashed on Sugartown Road in the Town of Great Valley, the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office reported.

The accident occurred at about 11:40 p.m.

The name of the victim and further details were withheld, pending notification of family and further investigation, officials said.

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Eight left homeless in two separate fires

The American Red Cross was called Sunday to assist four adults and four children left homeless by two separate fires.

The first fire, at 23 Sprenger Ave., was reported at 7:20 a.m.

The blaze started in a second-floor bedroom and caused an estimated $70,000 damage to the house and its contents. One adult and three children were displaced.

At 6:22 p.m., firefighters were called to another fire, this time at 656 Broadway, where flames were concentrated on the second floor and extended into the attic, causing about $45,000 damage.

Three adults and one child in the house were set to receive shelter from the Red Cross.

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Driving with high beams leads to DWI charge

A Florida man pulled over by state police for failing to dim the high beams on a sport utility vehicle early Sunday was charged with driving while intoxicated.

The traffic stop occurred at 4:22 a.m. on South Abbott Road in the Town of Hamburg.

Troopers said Matt C. Sliwinski, 41, of New Port Richey, Fla., failed to dim the high beams on a Toyota 4 Runner for a vehicle approaching in the opposite direction.

Sliwinski failed field sobriety tests and was arrested, troopers said.

His blood-alcohol content was found to be 0.20 percent, resulting in an aggravated DWI charge. A reading of 0.08 constitutes drunken driving in New York. A reading of 0.18 or more is considered aggravated DWI, which carries heftier penalties.

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Fare robs cab driver of $50, cellphone

A female cab driver reported being robbed at gunpoint early Sunday morning by the passenger she dropped off at 18th and Hampshire streets on the West Side.

The taxi operator picked up the passenger at about 1 a.m. on Mary B. Talbert Drive. When the passenger reached his destination, he displayed a black, long-barrel pistol and took $50 and a cellphone from the driver, before fleeing east through an 18th Street yard, police said.

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Three teens threaten Falls man at gunpoint

NIAGARA FALLS -- A 40-year-old man told police three teenagers threatened him with a handgun after he confronted them about throwing a bottle at him late Saturday.

The victim was sitting outside his Niagara Street apartment just before midnight when he noticed some rocks bouncing nearby. He was then struck in the head with a bottle that had been thrown from a neighboring yard, police said.

When the man checked out the source of the problem, three young men threatened him, with one pulling a handgun and threatening to shoot him, according to police.

The three then fled down an alley toward 22nd Street, police said.

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Police report someone tried to set fire to fence

NIAGARA FALLS -- Police said that someone tried to set fire to a wooden fence outside the Niagara Cerebral Palsy building at 1016 17th St. early Thursday.

An upper section of the fence was damaged, along with a handle and lock on the fence. In all, about $100 damage was done to the structure.

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Falls mayoral candidate reports 2 signs stolen

NIAGARA FALLS -- Campaign season is making its way to the police blotter.

Mayoral candidate Johnny G. Destino told police Saturday evening that two of his campaign signs were stolen from a vacant lot in the 3300 block of Pine Avenue. The Vanderbilt Avenue resident estimated the value of the signs at $400.

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Arrest made after robbery of store at knifepoint

A Buffalo man accused of robbing a West Ferry Street hardware store at knifepoint Sunday morning was quickly tracked down and arrested by Buffalo police officers on patrol in the neighborhood.

The robbery occurred at about 9 a.m. when a man entered Dibble's True Value at 262 W. Ferry St., pulled out a long kitchen knife and demanded money from the register, according to police.

He then reached over the counter and grabbed about $70 in cash from the machine before fleeing west on West Ferry Street.

Officers on patrol in the area, responding to a 911 call of the robbery, saw Salvator Petruzzi Jr. walking south on Herkimer Street after the theft, police said. Petruzzi, 20, of Rhode Island Street, was charged with first-degree robbery.