Share this article

print logo


Parolee sought in series of Tonawanda burglaries

A 41-year-old parolee is being sought by Town of Tonawanda police in connection with several residential burglaries.

Scott A. Wendel, who has served time at the Elmira Correctional Facility twice in the past 20 years on burglary- and forgery-related charges, frequents the cities of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda, police said. He has lived on Broad Street in the City of Tonawanda.

A spokesman for the Town of Tonawanda Police Department said Wendel is wanted for burglaries and burglary attempts that occurred in the northeastern section of the town in the early evening hours, while residents were home.

"Rear doors or windows have been broken to gain entry and threats were made towards a resident who attempted to confront him," said Lt. Nicholas A. Bado.

Wendel is 5 feet 10 inches tall and has a stocky build.

Police said Wendel should be considered dangerous and advise that anyone who sees him should not approach him and should call police immediately.


Woman lying near road is arrested on warrant

BATAVIA -- A woman who had been seen lying along a shoulder of West Main Street was located late Wednesday after a search involving deputies, volunteer firefighters and a police dog, the Genesee County sheriff's office reported.

A passerby saw Lisa M. Rugh, 38, of Batavia, lying along the road, near a greenhouse, and stopped to talk to her, deputies said. Rugh, who was thought to be intoxicated, told the good Samaritan she didn't need help and walked behind the greenhouse toward Tonawanda Creek.

When deputies couldn't find her, members of the East Pembroke and Batavia volunteer fire departments were called to the scene, along with the sheriff's K-9 unit.

The dog tracked Rugh to a mobile home park on West Main Street, where she was located, deputies said.

Rugh had been wanted on a bench warrant stemming from a misdemeanor drug arrest in March 2010. Following arraignment before City Court Judge Robert Balbick, Rugh was sent to jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.


Two facing felony counts in S. Valley break-ins

LITTLE VALLEY -- A man and a teen have been charged in connection with recent burglaries in the Town of South Valley, the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office reported.

James E. Baran Jr., 36, of Jamestown, and a 17-year-old whose name was withheld by deputies, were arrested this week -- for the second time this month.

Each previously was charged with a felony count of burglary, stemming from an incident that occurred Dec. 15, deputies said. The latest charges, lodged Tuesday, are two additional felony counts of burglary, felony grand larceny, and misdemeanor and felony counts of criminal mischief.

Further information about the crimes wasn't released.

Following arraignment in South Valley Town Court, the two were sent to the county jail in lieu of $25,000 bail each. Additional charges and arrests are pending, the sheriff's office said.


Man arraigned in theft of $50,000 from patient

A Buffalo man was arraigned Thursday before Erie County Judge Kenneth F. Case on an indictment charging him with second-degree grand larceny for stealing more than $50,000 from a cancer patient.

Scott Huber, 36, of Delaware Avenue, stole the money from the Mary Tomaselli benefit irrevocable trust, which was to help pay for her cancer treatments, said Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III.


Deputy struck by car released from ECMC

An Erie County Holding Center deputy who was struck by a car Wednesday after leaving work at the downtown jail was released Thursday from Erie County Medical Center, authorities said.

Deputy Dwight L. Daniels, 49, was hit as he tried to cross the street at South Elmwood Avenue and West Eagle Street at about 5 p.m. He was kept overnight at the medical center for observation, according to Undersheriff Mark N. Wipperman.

The driver, Daniel Shvimer, 30, of South Lane, Grand Island, was charged by Buffalo Police Officer Thomas Feeney with failure to obey a traffic control device.


One of 2 brothers admits receiving child porn

One of two brothers facing child pornography charges pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court.

Jason Bek, 30, of West Seneca, admitted receiving child pornography and trying to entice a minor into a sexual encounter. The minor was actually an adult law enforcement official posing as an underaged male.

Bek faces more than 19 years in prison.

His brother, Timothy M. Bek, 25, a former English teacher at West Seneca West High School, also faces child porn charges.

The younger Bek is accused of using his computer to store gruesome images of young children being raped and molested.