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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Aggravated DWI charged in Lockport traffic stop

LOCKPORT -- A Slayton Settlement Road man was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated after being spotted driving erratically just after 2:30 a.m. Monday on Day Road.

James M. McKernan III, 36, was charged by Niagara County sheriff's deputies after he was found to have a blood alcohol level nearly 2 1/2 times the legal limit, at 0.19 percent. He was also charged with failure to keep right.

Deputies said McKernan's vehicle crossed over the center and fog lines several times before being stopped.

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Fraud suspected in use of woman's credit card

WHEATFIELD -- A Townline Road woman told police she is being victimized by a woman who may have fraudulently obtained her credit card.

The woman told Niagara County sheriff's deputies Sunday that she found a $4,476 charge on her credit card that she did not make and a foreign transaction fee of $134.28.

The victim told deputies that the charges were made at a clothing store in Toronto with her card by a woman with a Russian accent who was buying $800 dresses. She told deputies that her credit card company told her that someone, claiming to be her, had a card sent to her in Washington, D.C., and told them she planned to make large purchases in Toronto.

The victim said she had recently had business dealings with a Canadian woman who claimed to have set up a website for her and had access to her credit card number.

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Not-guilty plea entered to assault on jail guard

LOCKPORT -- A Lockport man who is serving a four-year state prison sentence for drug possession was arraigned Monday in Niagara County Court on a charge of assaulting a corrections officer in the County Jail last summer.

Ramone D. Walker, 36, of Crosby Avenue, pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault and promoting prison contraband.

On Aug. 26, while in jail awaiting action on the drug charge, Walker allegedly fought with a guard who tried to take away tobacco that a visitor had passed to Walker. The officer suffered a fractured vertebra.

Charges are pending in Lockport Town Court against the visitor, Jessica Broughton, 21, of Crosby Avenue, Assistant District Attorney David A. Hoffman said.

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Woman who struck greeter defended by new lawyer

The new lawyer for a Batavia woman insisted Monday she was only defending herself when she struck a 70-year-old Walmart greeter on Christmas Eve.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor said the case will go to a grand jury for indictment if a plea deal cannot be worked out.

Jacquetta Simmons, 26, appeared in Batavia Town Court represented by E. Earl Key, a Buffalo criminal defense lawyer. After the brief court session, Key insisted he does not believe that his client intended to hurt Grace Suozzi. He stressed that Suozzi told police she had grabbed Simmons to stop her from leaving the store before she was punched, and he noted Simmons was not accused of shoplifting.

Simmons is one of the state's first defendants charged under the so-called Granny Law assault statute, making it a felony to assault a person 65 year of age or older, Genesee County Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini said.

Simmons is scheduled to return to court March 26.

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Pickup truck driven into restaurant; 4 hurt

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. -- A pickup driver drove his truck into a Lundy's Lane restaurant Monday afternoon, injuring four diners, one of whom was airlifted to a Hamilton hospital.

Niagara Regional Police said that a truck driven by an man in his early 80s drove through the front glass window at Harvey's, sending a shower of glass onto patrons and pinning a woman diner under its wheels at about 2:30 p.m.

The woman walked away from the crash scene after the Niagara Falls Fire Department lifted the front end of the truck to free her, according to police. An elderly man who was struck by the truck when it slammed into the restaurant was airlifted to Hamilton with serious injuries.

At least one other diner was taken to Greater Niagara General Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Police were told by a passenger in the pickup that he believed its brakes malfunctioned as the driver, identified by police as Bill Hunter, was pulling into the restaurant parking lot.

Hunter was taken by ambulance to Greater Niagara General for observation.

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Plea of guilty entered to sale of crack cocaine

LOCKPORT -- A Rochester man who sold a $40 chunk of crack cocaine on June 21 in Lockport pleaded guilty Monday in Niagara County Court.

Masure D. Evans, 19, pleaded to a reduced charge of attempted third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. He could be sentenced to as long as 5 1/2 years in prison when he returns before Judge Matthew J. Murphy III on May 21.

The drug sale to a police informant occurred in a house on Waterman Street, Evans said.