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Buffalo man pleads guilty in gun-menacing case

A high-speed police chase that ended when the defendant in a gun-menacing case said he ran out of gas resulted in a guilty plea Tuesday.

Andre Smith, 28, of Buffalo, pleaded guilty to second-degree weapon possession.

The chase began April 13 when Buffalo Police Officer Adam O’Shei tried to pull over Smith’s vehicle after a woman said Smith had menaced her with a handgun, according to Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III. Smith sped away, leading police on a chase through the city that reached speeds of more than 100 mph.

The chase ended when Smith tried to elude police by driving off the road between two houses on Glenwood Avenue and crashed into a garden. He leapt out of the damaged vehicle and fled on foot, with a loaded .45 semi-automatic pistol. Officer John Messina tackled him as he emerged from a backyard.

Police said Smith told officers, “I am a great driver, and I would have gotten away if I hadn’t run out of gas.”

Smith faces 3½ to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced March 26 by State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang.