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POLICE & COURTS

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.

"My client is an upstanding citizen," Key said in a statement. "She's bright, she's young, she's a college student, she has no criminal history, [and] of course she regrets it."

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 fast-food 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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Facebook wants Ceglia to pay $42,000 more

Facebook wants another $42,000 in attorney fees from the Allegany County man who claims to own half of the social networking giant.

The new attorney fees are the latest request made by Facebook as part of the court-ordered sanctions against Paul Ceglia of Wellsville, the man suing the company in federal court.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio has already ordered Ceglia to pay $75,766 of Facebook's legal fees plus a $5,000 fine for failure to comply with a previous court order.

At the core of Ceglia's suit is the contention that he and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg entered into a contract in 2003 that gives him a stake in the company.

Facebook contends the contract is a fraud.

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Woman in 3-vehicle crash listed in stable condition

A Chautauqua County woman was listed in stable condition Monday in Erie County Medical Center's Trauma Intensive Care Unit after a three-vehicle crash Sunday afternoon on Route 60 in the Town of Charlotte, authorities reported.

At about 2:10 p.m., a northbound minivan driven by Joel A. Marsh, 48, of Charlotte, slowed down to turn left into a driveway and was struck from behind by another northbound vehicle, according to Chautauqua County sheriff's officials and state police.

The impact then forced the minivan into the path of a southbound tractor-trailer, with the minivan striking the rear of the truck and extensively damaging both vehicles.

Marsh and his passenger, Joann Marsh, 48, of the same address, were flown by Starflight and Mercy Flight to ECMC, where Joann Marsh remained in the Trauma Unit Monday night. Joel Marsh was treated and released.

The driver of the second vehicle, Phillip Anderson, 21, of Jamestown, was ticketed for following too closely, according to police reports. He was treated in WCA Hospital and released.

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Varysburg man arrested in knife attack on wife

State police at Warsaw arrested a 22-year-old Varysburg man accused of lunging at his wife's face with a pocket knife while she held their 10-month-old baby late Sunday afternoon.

Troopers also accused Dylan Crimbring of grabbing his wife, throwing her down and choking her for about 10 to 15 seconds before letting her back up. During the incident, Crimbring also broke and destroyed picture frames and miscellaneous household items, police reported.

Troopers Jay Hoy and William Wilkinson, who responded to the domestic call in an apartment on Route 20A at about 4:30 p.m., charged Crimbring with endangering the welfare of a child, weapons possession, reckless endangerment, criminal obstruction of breathing and other counts, according to police reports.