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Camera aids in arrest of driver; Footage prompts warning from mayor

The arrest of an exchange student in one of three hit-and-run crashes during an 18-hour span Thursday was made with the help of a Buffalo police surveillance camera, Mayor Byron W. Brown said Monday.

Tornubari G. Gbaraba, 19, of Nigeria, is accused of striking 18-year-old Victor Jerez at about 3 a.m. Thursday at Grant and Letchworth streets.

Police Monday released a video of Jerez walking along the street, then rushing onto the sidewalk as a car approaches. The car swerves onto the sidewalk, striking Jerez, who is knocked over the hood of the vehicle, and nearly striking another teen who is walking with him.

Brown issued a warning to all errant motorists and would-be criminals.

"My message is if you commit any kind of crime in the City of Buffalo, we are watching, we will not tolerate it, and it's just a matter of time before we will catch you and put you in jail for committing that crime," the mayor said during a news conference.

Gbaraba is accused of leading police on a short chase before being forced to the curb in the 200 block of Vermont Street.

Jerez was taken by ambulance to Erie County Medical Center, where he was treated and released.