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Man reportedly fell into Niagara Whirlpool

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. -- Authorities searched the Niagara River Whirlpool Saturday afternoon, after the report of a young man falling into the water.

A witness reported the man falling into the water along the Niagara Glen nature preserve at about 4 p.m., according to Bruce Green, a platoon chief for the Niagara Falls Fire Department.

Crews from both sides of the border searched the waters by boat and helicopter but were unable to find anything, Green said Saturday evening.

The search was called off at about 6:30 p.m.


California tourists robbed in parking lot

NIAGARA FALLS -- A pair of California tourists were robbed at gunpoint early Saturday two blocks from the falls, with one of the apologetic thieves blaming the fact that "he has kids to feed."

Police said the two victims were in the parking lot of the Days Inn in the 100 block of Niagara Street just after midnight. One victim, a 55-year-old woman, was leaning into her car when a black male shoved her from behind into the rear seat, then shoved a handgun in her face and demanded money.

The thief dumped the contents of the woman's purse onto the ground and grabbed a wallet containing $200. He started to leave but turned back, asking her for her cellphone before snatching her car keys and fleeing, city police said.

The second victim, a 33-year-old woman, was accosted in the passenger seat of the vehicle by a Hispanic male, who yanked her purse away from her before smacking her on the cheek with the butt of his handgun. He apologized to the woman, saying, "Sorry, I've got kids to feed," before making off with her passport, cellphone, digital camera and about $300 in cash.

The two robbers fled down alleyways, police said. The older victim suffered cuts to both knees from being knocked to the gravel lot. The other victim suffered bruises and swelling to her face, police reported.


Man tries to pay for dinner with a bag of pot

NIAGARA FALLS -- A man ordered a take-out dinner from a Niagara Falls Boulevard diner early Saturday and tried to pay for it with a bag of marijuana, police said.

The incident occurred shortly after 2 a.m. at the Denny's restaurant, police said. The man ordered $9.91 worth of food and offered a cashier $1 and the pot in exchange for the meal.

When the cashier refused the deal, the man tried to sell the pot to other customers in the restaurant, police said, before fleeing into a nearby wooded area when the cashier called police.

An employee at the restaurant recognized the man and gave his name to police, who said that he lives in the area of the restaurant. He was not home when officers arrived later Saturday. An investigation is continuing.


3 more car break-ins being investigated

NIAGARA FALLS -- Police investigated three more car break-ins Saturday, including two in the lot of a downtown hotel.

Visitors from Michigan and Pennsylvania reported having their cars broken into overnight in the lot of the Sheraton on Third Street. In each case, windows were broken out to gain entry, and global positioning systems were stolen.

The Michigan woman said her GPS was removed from the windshield of her car, and listed her loss at $600. The Pennsylvania man also lost his driver's license, credit card and gas card, and reported $410 in losses.

Also reporting a car break-in Saturday morning was a Hyde Park Boulevard real estate agent, who said his car was entered in the lot of his business prior to 5 a.m. Someone ransacked the center console of the unlocked vehicle, stealing a GPS system and $20 in change.

The victim told police that he recently installed a video surveillance camera, due to several such break-ins of late, and that the camera captured images of the thief. Police are continuing to investigate.


Buffalo man faces jail, fine after admitting drug role

A Buffalo man faces up to four years in prison and a $250,000 fine after admitting in federal court Friday that he set up a narcotics transaction as part of a large cocaine distribution network between Buffalo and Texas.

Joseph Marble, 29, was intercepted on a telephone call setting up the drug deal during a court-authorized wiretap, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert C. Moscati.

Marble was one of 20 people charged last May for his involvement in the "multi-kilogram cocaine distribution network" between Buffalo and Houston.