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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Police probing possible tie between 2 gunshot incidents

Niagara Falls police Sunday were trying to determine who shot up a car outside a Highland Avenue bar and a home on Cleveland Avenue, and why.

No one was injured in the two incidents that occurred about four hours apart early Sunday, said Detective William Smith.

"We don't know why it happened, but we believe [the two shootings] may be related," Smith said.

According to police, someone shot and heavily damaged a car outside the 3M Bar in the 3000 block of Highland at about 3 a.m. Four hours later, someone fired at least six shots at a house in the 1000 block of Cleveland, a little over a mile from the bar.

A man who was inside the home on Cleveland -- Willie Edward Mathews, 44, of Niagara Falls -- was arrested on charges of criminal possession of a gun and possession of a stolen gun, police said. Mathews was not charged with either of the shootings.

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Motorcyclist hurt in crash into street sign in Wilson

WILSON -- A 22-year-old motorcyclist from Pendleton suffered multiple injuries Sunday morning when he lost control of his vehicle and slammed into a street sign on Park Street, Niagara County sheriff's deputies reported.

Christopher A. McDonald was taken to Erie County Medical Center by Mercy Flight helicopter after the 6:15 a.m. crash, deputies said. His injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

McDonald lost control of the motorcycle while trying to negotiate a curve, deputies said, adding that McDonald will face charges of operating a motorcycle with a learner's permit only.

Volunteers from the Wilson Fire Department treated him at the scene.

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Falls man accused in attack on man in women's clothes

NIAGARA FALLS -- Police arrested a 42-year-old man early Sunday, accusing him of beating and robbing a man dressed in women's clothing.

The 33-year-old victim, a city resident, told police he was walking home shortly before 2 a.m. when he was accosted in the 400 block of 27th Street by a man asking for his purse. The victim was then struck and knocked unconscious, police said, awakening later to find his purse and money missing.

Police arrested Carl R. Adams of Niagara Street a short time later, charging him with third-degree assault, harassment and second-degree robbery. The victim was treated in Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center for cuts and bruises, police said.

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Police hope tracking device will solve cellphone theft

NIAGARA FALLS -- Police hope a tracking device contained in a stolen cellular telephone can help them solve a theft that occurred during Friday night's Niagara Falls High School Senior Prom.

A student attending the event in the Conference Center Niagara Falls told police that her purse was stolen off her table between 7 and 8:30 p.m. When tracking her missing cellphone via computer, the tracking device indicated that it was inside a home in the LaSalle section of the city.

Police contacted the homeowner and learned that a female resident there had been at the prom in a work capacity but denied any knowledge of the theft. An investigation is continuing.

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Casino guest reports theft of purse from car in ramp

NIAGARA FALLS -- A visitor to the Seneca Niagara Casino told police her purse was stolen out of her car Saturday night.

The Ontario resident told police that sometime between 6 p.m. and midnight, someone entered the car, which had been left with a window mostly down, and took her purse, containing about $100 in cash, as well as some personal papers for the vehicle.

The car was parked in the casino ramp when it was entered, police said.

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Two girls struck by car in Amherst listed as critical

Amherst police are continuing to investigate a Maple Road accident that left two teenagers critically injured Saturday night.

Police Sunday released the identities of the two girls -- Erin Suszynski and Briana Francios. Officers said each of the girls is 13 and from Amherst.

Briana is in Erie County Medical Center, and Erin is in Women & Childrens Hospital. Both are listed in critical condition, Police Capt. Patrick M. McKenna said.

According to McKenna, witnesses told police that Briana, Erin and a third girl crossed Maple Road near Millard Fillmore Hospital at about 7:25 p.m. Saturday.

The girls stopped at a center median, and then Briana and Erin "darted across the eastbound lanes of Maple into the path of a Jeep," McKenna said.

The Jeep, driven by Maria E. Hoelzl, 50, of the Town of Tonawanda, struck and injured the two girls, police said.

An on-duty police officer, Thomas Moss, witnessed the crash while stopped at the intersection of Maple and Culpepper Road. He filed no charges against the motorist.

Senior Accident Investigator Kelly Seier is continuing the investigation. The name of the third girl, who was not hurt, was not released.