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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Hyde Park-area vandals target side-view mirrors

NIAGARA FALLS -- Police said that vandals either broke or ripped off the side-view mirrors on as many as nine cars in a concentrated Hyde Park-area neighborhood early Sunday.

Most of the incidents occurred in the 2400 block of Linwood Avenue, where eight vehicles were discovered damaged between 1 and 4 a.m., police said. Another vehicle was targeted a short distance away, in the 2700 block of Willow Avenue.

Among the vehicles damaged were a 1995 Pontiac owned by a Willow Avenue woman and a 2005 Dodge belonging to a Linwood Avenue woman. Damage in each case was estimated at between $200 and $500.

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Citizen's complaint leads to DWI charge

WHEATFIELD -- A citizen's complaint about erratic driving led Niagara County sheriff's deputies to the 2500 block of Niagara Falls Boulevard, where an alleged drunken driver was pulled over early Sunday.

Deputies said that Timothy H. Walsh Jr., 33, of Lake Mead Road, was stopped shortly after midnight, after his car was spotted weaving between lanes. Walsh reportedly failed several field sobriety tests and was found to have an open and still-cold can of beer in the seat next to him, according to a sheriff's report.

Walsh was charged with driving while intoxicated, drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle on a highway, failure to keep right, moving from a lane unsafely and unlawful possession of marijuana.

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Condition of Eden driver who sheared pole upgraded

An Eden man who was seriously injured when his car sheared off a utility pole and came to a stop against a large tree at about 3 a.m. Saturday at Routes 62 and 75 was reported in improved condition Sunday in Erie County Medical Center.

Michael Zittel, 22, was freed from the wreckage by the Eden Emergency and Rescue Squad. He was first listed in critical condition at the hospital, but a spokeswoman said Sunday night his condition was upgraded to serious.

Police charged him with driving at imprudent speed and not wearing a seat belt.

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Man shot in police struggle improves to stable condition

The condition of a 21-year-old man shot by a Buffalo police officer during a struggle over a rifle was improved from serious to stable Sunday in Erie County Medical Center.

A hospital spokeswoman said Joseph L. Craig, of Wyoming Avenue, was in stable condition Sunday night.

Craig was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, menacing, obstruction of governmental administration and drug possession, according to police reports. Officers said he was captured after a short foot chase at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday in the Genesee-Moselle neighborhood.

Police said he was subdued in the 200 block of Stevens Avenue after a short struggle, and he was carrying two baggies filled with cocaine. They said he was armed with an assault rifle.

Another man who had been walking with Craig fled on foot and was being sought, police reported.

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DWI charged after car is left in middle of road

A motorist was charged with drunken driving after his car was found abandoned early Sunday in the middle of a Clarence road -- with a fire hydrant lodged beneath it, Erie County sheriff's deputies reported.

Deputies Patrick McMahon and Gene Nati were dispatched to Sawmill Road shortly after 3 a.m. to investigate a complaint about a revving engine. McMahon found a damaged car abandoned in the middle of the road.

It subsequently was determined that the car had been involved in a crash on Stage Road in Newstead, where it left the roadway, hit the fire hydrant and some brush, then left the scene.

Nati, who responded to the call from a different direction, came across a man -- who appeared intoxicated -- walking down Sawmill Road. That man, Harold K. Frey Jr. 47, of Clarence, admitted he had been driving the car, deputies said.

Frey was taken into custody for driving while intoxicated and was found to have a blood-alcohol content of 0.13 percent.

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House fire kills 2 dogs, causes extensive damage

Two dogs died in a weekend fire that caused extensive damage at a Riverside-area home, according to Buffalo fire dispatch. The blaze at 58 Hartman Place was reported shortly after 11:30 p.m. Saturday.

It started on the second floor of the 2 1/2 -story frame home and spread to the attic, a dispatcher said.

Damage was estimated at $75,000 to the structure and $25,000 to the contents, the dispatcher said.

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Man arrested on weapon and trespass charges

A Seventh Street man was arrested on a weapons charge after a complainant told Buffalo police he was kicking and yelling at her front door on Linden Avenue at about 11:50 p.m. Saturday.

Officers said Deshawn D. Vann, 18, was found with a .22-caliber revolver and four rounds of ammunition. He was charged with possession of a loaded firearm, harassment and trespass.