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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Falls boy, 11, hit by car while riding bicycle

A 11-year-old Niagara Falls boy was taken by ambulance to Women & Children's Hospital in Buffalo after he was hit by a car while riding his bike at 17th Street and Whitney Avenue about 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Niagara Falls police officials.

The incident remained under investigation late Tuesday.

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Hearing held for man accused of beating up boxer

LOCKPORT -- A prosecutor said Tuesday she will seek a first-degree assault indictment this week against a Town of Niagara man who allegedly beat up a professional boxer in a May 12 fight over a woman.

Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann made the statement during a Niagara County Court bail hearing for Michael P. Vicki, 30, of Portland Street.

Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas set bail at $50,000 for Vicki, who is charged with inflicting cuts that took more than 200 stitches to repair when he beat junior welterweight contender Nick Casal, 21, in the head with an unknown metal object.

Defense attorney Damon A. DeCastro said Casal, a Niagara Falls resident, took a taxi to Vicki's house and started the incident.

Vicki told police he struck Casal in self-defense, but Hoffmann said she has two eyewitnesses who deny that.

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Ex-McDonald's worker admits stealing $17,820

LOCKPORT -- The former assistant manager of McDonald's in Wrights Corners pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing $17,820 from the restaurant's till between Aug. 2 and Jan. 21.

Dustin J. Hall, 26, of State Street, Gasport, admitted to fourth-degree grand larceny. Full restitution will be part of the sentence when Hall returns to court Sept. 5, Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas said.

When the judge asked Hall what he did with the money, Hall said he made "all kinds of stupid purchases," such as gasoline, clothes and paying other bills.

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Youthful offender accused in robbery, stabbing

LOCKPORT -- An 18-year-old from John Street in Lockport, granted youthful-offender status Tuesday in connection with a burglary last year, is expected to be back in court soon on charges stemming from a robbery and stabbing that occurred Sunday.

The man was arrested Monday by Lockport police, who charged him with first- and third-degree robbery, second-degree assault, third-degree menacing and petit larceny.

Police said those charges resulted from a confrontation on Elmwood Avenue in Lockport. A Strauss Road youth said he agreed to show the suspect his iPod Touch, and the suspect refused to give it back, threatening to spray the owner with Mace.

Another man intervened and a fight resulted, with that man stabbed in the left thigh and the left side of his abdomen. He was treated in Erie County Medical Center.

Tuesday, State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr., saying he couldn't consider the new charges, granted the 18-year-old youthful-offender status and a one-year Niagara County Jail term for attempted third-degree burglary: the theft of a PlayStation unit Sept. 23 from a home on Cleveland Place in Lockport.

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Robber, burglar both given three years in prison

LOCKPORT -- Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas shipped a robber and a burglar to state prison in separate cases Tuesday, adding three years of post-release supervision to each sentence.

Emery F. Mingle Sr., 47, of Schenck Street, North Tonawanda, drew four years in prison for attempted second-degree robbery. Armed with a starter's pistol and wearing a mask, he robbed $1,800 from the North Tonawanda Salvation Army on Jan. 25.

Mingle said he had lost his job, was having financial trouble and "made a stupid decision."

Edwin K. Ridgeway, 24, of Niagara Falls, was sentenced to two years in a cell for violating his probation on an attempted second-degree burglary plea from last year. He broke into a house on Ontario Avenue in the Falls on Jan. 11, 2011.

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Arson suspected in fire that destroyed vacant house

NIAGARA FALLS -- Arson is suspected in a fire that destroyed a vacant 2 1/2 -story house on 14th Street Monday night.

The fire started just before 9 p.m. at 244 14th St. Niagara Falls firefighters were on the scene for more than four hours trying to get the fire under control.

Fire Prevention Chief Daniel Ciszek said investigators believe the fire was set in the basement of the unsecured, vacant house.

"Initially we had crews inside, but they pulled them out because it just wasn't safe to be in there," Ciszek said.

The property, owned by Niagara Falls Redevelopment's 11th Street Properties LLC, was called a total loss and has been scheduled for demolition. Damages were listed at $9,500.

"We had to pour so much water on the house that the basement was completely filled with water," Ciszek said.

"That's where we believe the fire started," he said, "and we will probably get back in there once the water drains a bit to try to collect some evidence."