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Role in 3 armed robberies brings 12-year prison term

A Buffalo man was sentenced to 12 years in state prison Monday by Erie County Judge Michael Pietruszka for his role in three armed robberies, Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III reported.

Thomas L. Chappell, 22, of Colvin Avenue, pleaded guilty in January to the robberies of a Family Dollar store on Bailey Avenue in May 2010, a Gamestop outlet on Delaware Avenue in July 2010 and an M&T Bank branch on Union Road in Cheektowaga in August 2010.

An accomplice, William Middlebrooks, was sentenced to 15 years in prison in January after pleading guilty to the three robberies and another Family Dollar holdup in July 2010.


Plea of guilty entered to bank mortgage fraud

A Getzville man pleaded guilty Monday to bank mortgage fraud. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine, or both.

James P. Vasiliou, Jr., 46, submitted a false application to JP Morgan Chase Bank to refinance a property located in Lockport.

Vasiliou overstated his monthly income from a business he owned on the loan application. He also filed 15 additional false mortgage loan applications to other financial institutions.

Vasiliou agreed to pay restitution to Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase Bank in the amount of $517,000.

Sentencing is scheduled for 1 p.m. July 30 before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.


Woman pleads guilty in credit card fraud

A Buffalo woman pleaded guilty Monday to using an unauthorized access device before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell T. Ippolito Jr. said Tynja Cloud, 31, conspired with others to obtain credit cards in the names of individuals living outside New York State.

Ippolito said the credit cards were obtained using those people's identities and by applying for them through online bank applications. He said Cloud then used the cards at various stores in the Buffalo area.

Cloud faces up to 10 years in jail, a $250,000 fine, or both, when she is sentenced July 30.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.


Deputies subdue man, 52, following DWI crash

A drunken driver needed to be subdued by deputies Sunday night after he drove his truck into a ditch on Townsend Road in the Town of Concord, Erie County sheriff's officials said.

After Douglas A. Reed, 52, of Springville, was pinned down by Deputies Den Pisa, Jason Bouton and Joe Cottone at about 8:15 p.m., Reed was charged with driving while intoxicated, resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration, disorderly conduct, harassment and a traffic offense, officials said.

Reed was treated in Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, Springville, for minor injuries, and a blood sample was taken, deputies said.


Pedestrian struck by SUV remains in fair condition

The teenage pedestrian injured in an accident at Walden and Bailey avenues Thursday remains in fair condition in Erie County Medical Center, police reported Monday.

Joshua Adams, 16, was injured when a 52-year-old Buffalo woman's sport utility vehicle crashed into him, knocked out a utility pole at the intersection and sent the SUV rolling several times.

The driver, whose name was not released, has been released from ECMC. Police had no word on two passengers in the SUV who also suffered injuries.

Police said Monday they continue to investigate the crash.


Arrest made in assault with bottle in bar

A Hamburg man man is being held on second-degree assault and harassment charges for allegedly hitting another man in the face with an alcohol bottle during an argument in a Chippewa Street bar.

Shawn P. Griffin, 20, of Big Tree Road, was arrested by Buffalo Police Officers Thomas Mayes and Michael Long in the City Tavern, 55 W. Chippewa, shortly after the incident at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, according to a police report.

The victim refused medical attention, police said, though he suffered severe pain, swelling, bruising and heavy bleeding of his nose and face.


Emergency demolition requested after fire

Buffalo fire officials called for an emergency demolition of a vacant house destroyed by a suspicious early-morning fire Monday in the city's Utica-Jefferson area.

Firefighters responded to a 3:06 a.m. alarm at 185 Roehrer Ave., where they found fire throughout the 2 1/2 -story house. The second floor and attic later collapsed.

The cause of the blaze, which left an estimated $50,000 damage, is under investigation.

The burned-out house is a couple of blocks south of East Utica Street, one block east of Jefferson Avenue.