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Man, 18, charged in ramp hit-and-run; Police release footage showing Christmas Eve accident that injured three people

A Buffalo man was arrested Friday on assault and other charges related to an early Christmas Eve hit-and-run accident that injured three people.

Richard Booze Jr., 18, of Guilford Avenue was taken into custody about 12:30 p.m. by Police Accident Investigator Martin Forero and is being held on multiple counts of second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and leaving the scene of an accident without reporting it.

Michael DeGeorge, the Buffalo Police Department spokesman, said Booze appeared at police headquarters on Franklin Street with his mother after being ordered to surrender by the police department and Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita III.

Booze, who also was being sought on an earlier Buffalo City Court warrant for failure to pay a court-imposed fine in a city drug case, is slated to be arraigned in City Court this morning.

Chad Beers and his fiancee, Amy Gleason, both 26 and both former residents of the Town of Evans, and their friend, Ashley Heinrich, 25, of Hamburg, were walking to their cars in the Augspurger Ramp between Franklin and Pearl streets when they were hit by a car about 2 a.m. Dec. 24.

Beers and Gleason now live in the Atlanta area.

All three were treated for their injuries and released the same day.

The car that sped off after the incident was recovered by Buffalo police in the 400 block of Perry Street.

The hit-and-run vehicle, which police today identified as owned by Booze, had damage to its windshield, allegedly caused by the ramp incident.

After announcing the arrest, Buffalo police released two surveillance photos taken from a camera inside the Augspurger Ramp. The dramatic photos show the red vehicle about to hit a white vehicle as several passersby watch; the second photo shows the white vehicle, now damaged, and one of the apparent victims lying on the ground as the Cobalt flees.

According to police reports, Booze had a female passenger in his car and initially sped by the three victims in the downtown ramp but, finding the exit he was seeking closed, allegedly spun his car around and at high speeds hit the two women and then Beers before driving off. Under the felony assault charges Booze, if convicted, faces a mandatory prison term of up to seven years.

email: mgryta@buffnews.com