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POLICE & COURTS

Person of interest sought in Amherst bank robbery

Amherst police are investigating a bank robbery that occurred Monday afternoon near the Boulevard Mall and want to talk to a person of interest in the case.

A robber entered the M&T branch at 1205 Niagara Falls Blvd. about 1 p.m. and handed the teller a note saying he had a gun and demanded money, police said. He was last seen leaving the bank on foot.

Lt. Richard Walter said Monday that police want to talk to Pat McGroder, 51, whom he described as 6 feet tall, 175 pounds with salt and pepper hair.

Walter said anyone who spots McGroder should not approach him but instead contact the Amherst Police Department immediately at 689-1343 or 689-1311.

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Driver in Ontario crash may be paralyzed, police say

WEST LINCOLN, Ont. -- A Stoney Creek man remained hospitalized Monday night with possible paralysis after he was driving during a crash early Sunday on Ontario Regional Road 20, Niagara Regional Police reported.

The name of the driver badly hurt in the crash has yet to be released while the investigation continues. Police said they are looking into the possibility that speed and alcohol were contributing factors.

Ronald Horvat, 45, of Stoney Creek, the lone passenger in the pickup that left the roadway near South Grimsby Road, died at the scene.

Horvat and the driver were eastbound on Regional Road 20 when the driver lost control and the vehicle left the roadway, overcorrected, crossed the center line and slammed the pickup into a utility pole, police said.

The vehicle crashed on the passenger side, partially ejecting Horvat, who was pronounced dead about 2:30 a.m. Sunday. The driver was taken by air ambulance to Hamilton General Hospital. He was in critical condition Monday.

Witnesses to the crash are urged to contact investigators at (905) 688-4111, Ext. 5500.

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Boy, 14, struck by branch 3 weeks ago still in hospital

A 14-year-old Warsaw boy remains hospitalized in Women & Children's Hospital being treated for a head injury he suffered about three weeks ago when he was struck by a falling tree branch, a hospital spokesman said Monday evening.

Aaron Paddock remains in "stable condition" with no estimate of when he will be released from the Buffalo hospital.

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Troopers' DWI blitz nets 3 arrests after Bills game

State police made three arrests for driving while intoxicated during a DWI saturation blitz coinciding with the Buffalo Bills home opener Sunday.

Troopers from Boston and Clarence issued a total of 70 traffic tickets, including 48 for speeding and 19 for other traffic violations.

The three people charged with DWI were:

*Kelly A. Martin, 24, of Lancaster, who was stopped for speeding on Transit Road in the Town of Elma. A breath test revealed a blood-alcohol content of 0.17 percent, troopers said.

*Patrick G. Caldwell, 46, of Marcellus, who was stopped for failure to keep right on Wehrle Drive in the Town of Clarence. His blood-alcohol level was 0.13 percent, according to state police records.

*Brett Crossley, 25, of Columbus, Ohio, who was stopped for failure to signal on Route 400 in the Town of West Seneca. His breath test revealed a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent, troopers said.

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Three children found living in squalor; couple arrested

A Grote Street couple faces child neglect charges after police said they found three young children living in an apartment containing "a strong odor of feces," broken glass on the floors, a "shredded mattress" and other items strewn on the floor.

Emergency medical technicians called police after a call involving injuries at the family's Grote Street address about noon Sunday.

Antone Jones, also known as Antonio Eldridge, 23, and Martha Catoe, 23, face City Court proceedings. The children were taken to Women & Children's Hospital for observation.

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Man accused of shooting at people after an argument

NIAGARA FALLS -- City police received several calls over the weekend of shots fired and gunshot damage, and two people were charged Sunday in weapons-related incidents.

Robert L. Hilson, 20, of Niagara Street, was charged with second-degree menacing and reckless endangerment. Police said they found him hiding in a Niagara Avenue basement and ordered him out at gunpoint. Several witnesses said Hilson fired at them following an argument. Police recovered a handgun at the scene.

In an unrelated case, a woman with a weapon was charged just after 2 a.m. Sunday following a domestic violence report on Parkview Drive. Police did not specify the weapon.

Patrice Ann Coffie, 43, of Parkview Drive, was charged with second-degree assault with a weapon.