Share this article

print logo


Whirlpool victim was college student from China

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. -- A 22-year-old man who is presumed to have drowned Saturday in the Niagara River whirlpool was an international student from China, according to Niagara Regional Police.

The body of the man had not been found as of Sunday night, despite an extensive shoreline and water search by the police's Marine Unit, with help from Whirlpool Jet Boat company.

The name of the man, who was attending Niagara College in Southern Ontario, has not been released. Police said they have been in contact with his family in China.

The man entered the water Saturday afternoon to cool off following a barbecue with friends at the bottom of the Niagara Gorge. He was swept into the whirlpool rapids, despite efforts by several people to assist him.

Authorities used underwater cameras to assist in the search, but the unpredictable currents made it too dangerous to deploy a dive team. Those currents will continue to be evaluated to determine if divers can join the search safely, police said.


11 occupants assisted after 14th Street fire

An early-morning fire caused $75,000 damage to a 14th Street house that was occupied by two adults and nine children.

No injuries were reported.

Firefighters were called to 451 14th St., on the city's West Side, at 3:14 a.m. Sunday to battle a blaze that started in the first floor of the 2 1/2 -story house.

Firefighters left the scene at 5:06 a.m. Damage was estimated at $50,000 to the building and $25,000 to its contents.

The Red Cross was called in to assist the residents of the house.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


Second arrest made in robbery try, shooting

A second arrest has been made in connection with a May 9 robbery attempt and shooting on East Ferry Street that put a Buffalo man in the hospital.

Buffalo police charged Antwan Walters, 26, of Woltz Avenue, with first-degree assault, first-degree attempted robbery and criminal use of weapon.

Walters is accused of pointing a gun at Charles Pickens, 51, and demanding money. Pickens tried to fight back and was shot in the abdomen.

Pickens was taken to Erie County Medical Center and was discharged about a week ago.

Police also charged Sarena Worthy, 23, of Sweet Street, with first-degree robbery in the case. Worthy was arrested May 10.


Previous conviction leads to felony DWI charge

A Kenmore man with a previous drunken driving conviction was arrested in Chautauqua County on Sunday morning on a new and more serious drunken driving charge.

Ryan J. Burke, 25, was spotted swerving in and out of the lane on Route 394 in the Town of North Harmony at about 2:05 a.m., according to county sheriff's officials.

A chemical test found his blood-alcohol content was greater than 0.18 percent, which constitutes a charge of aggravated driving while intoxicated, deputies said. In addition, because Burke was convicted of drunken driving within the past 10 years, he was charged with a felony.


Traffic stop results in DWI, marijuana charges

A 31-year-old Cheektowaga man driving on Transit Road with one headlight was arrested on drunken driving and marijuana charges Saturday night, state police reported.

Brian J. Jank was driving on Transit Road in Cheektowaga at about 11:10 p.m., when he was pulled over by Trooper Keith Wesolek.

Jank failed several field sobriety tests and registered positive on a breath screening test, according to the trooper, who said Jank refused to take a Breathalyzer test and was charged with felony driving while intoxicated.

The felony charge was lodged because Jank was convicted in 2008 of DWI. A second DWI charge within 10 years of a conviction becomes a felony.

Jank was also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. A small quantity of the drug was in the driver's side door handle, troopers said.

The car passenger, David C. Martz, 32, of Cheektowaga, was charged with not wearing a seat belt and unlawful possession of marijuana. He had a small amount of marijuana hidden in a book bag, Wesolek reported.


Selt belt violation brings DWI charge

A 50-year-old Elma man stopped for not wearing a seat belt was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and prescription drugs, according to state police.

Thomas S. Mauerman was spotted driving on Seneca Street in the Town of Elma at about 3:25 p.m. Saturday without wearing a seat belt, troopers said. Mauerman had a blood-alcohol content of 0.09, according to troopers.

Mauerman had a previous driving while intoxicated conviction in 2003. As a result, his current charge was bumped up to felony DWI, troopers said.

Mauerman was also under the influence of prescription drugs, according to state police, who also charged him with driving while ability impaired by drugs.