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POLICE & COURTS

Rowdy scene at Falls bar spurs report to state agency

NIAGARA FALLS – City officers reported a Niagara Street tavern to State Liquor Authority investigators after finding "a disorderly premises" there early Sunday, according to a police report.

Officers responded to Players Bar shortly after 3 a.m. to investigate a fight and found a dozen people on the Fourth Street side of the building screaming at each other. After they were dispersed, officers entered the bar and found a man holding his head, the victim of an apparent assault.

The man refused to talk to investigators and declined medical treatment, police reported.

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2 more vehicles hit as rash of Falls break-ins continues

NIAGARA FALLS – Two more out-of-town visitors had their cars broken into on Sunday, continuing a recent trend that has prompted more concentrated crime-fighting efforts.

A Horseheads man's car was broken into at about 10 a.m. while it was parked in the north lot at the Hyde Park Ice Pavilion, city police said. The vehicle was unlocked when someone entered and stole a passport and a global positioning system valued at $400.

The GPS device of a Fort Erie, Ont., woman was stolen while her car was parked in the valet lot at the Seneca Niagara Hotel on Sixth Street, according to reports. She estimated her loss at $150.

Police recently announced beefed-up patrols on car break-ins, in response to growing numbers the crimes, particularly against tourists and other visitors.

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Candle blamed for fire 
at 10th Street home in Falls

NIAGARA FALLS – An overturned candle ignited nearby curtains, sparking a Sunday morning fire that heavily damaged a two-family home at 431 10th St.

Emergency crews were sent to the scene at 11:11 a.m. and found the first floor of the building fully engulfed. All of the residents safely escaped, thanks to residents on the lower floor alerting their upstairs neighbor when the fire began.

No injuries were reported, and no damage estimate was available later Sunday.

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Traffic safety blitz results
 in issuing of 367 tickets

State police in Erie and Wyoming counties issued 367 tickets, including 170 citations for speeding, during a five-day traffic safety initiative that wrapped up Sunday.

Troopers conducted several traffic details during the heavy travel period between Wednesday and Sunday. These included Operation Hang Up, which targeted distracted drivers; DWI saturation details and speed details on the area's interstate highways; and a joint DWI checkpoint with Cheektowaga police, Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority police and Erie County sheriff's deputies.

In addition to the tickets for speeding, troopers issued 15 tickets for distracted driving, made four arrests for driving while intoxicated and made seven arrests for unlawful possession of marijuana.
Troopers also investigated 11 minor accidents, six of which were caused by collisions with deer.

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Amherst man accused 
of selling pot out of his car

An Amherst man was charged over the weekend with selling marijuana from the trunk of his car at a Burger King parking lot on Main Street in Buffalo.

Brandon Rucker, 26, was charged at about 9 a.m. Saturday with criminal sale of marijuana and unlawful possession of marijuana. His 1996 Acura was impounded from the parking lot at Main and West Utica streets.

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East Side man, 96, attacked, robbed during home invasion

A 96-year-old man suffered life-threatening injuries Saturday after he was beaten by three people who broke into his East Side home.

Three people – two of them armed with handguns – broke into a home on Longview Avenue, near East Delavan Avenue, at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday, according to Buffalo police. They beat the man, breaking his jaw.

The attackers ransacked the house, ruining at least two flat-screen televisions, ripping out parts of the walls and ceilings, and taking jewelry, laptop computers, hunting rifles, shotguns and cash. Damage was estimated at $1,500. The victim, who was not named, was taken to Erie County Medical Center for treatment.

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Lawyer's request for removal from Ceglia case to be heard

A judge will consider whether to let a lawyer for Paul Ceglia withdraw from the civil case involving Facebook.

A hearing on Ohio attorney Dean Boland's request is scheduled for Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Buffalo.

Boland hasn't publicly said why he no longer wants to represent Ceglia, of Wellsville, in his multibillion-dollar ownership claim against Facebook. The request came a few days after Ceglia was arrested on charges accusing him of doctoring and destroying evidence to support his civil suit.