Share this article

print logo

OFF MAIN STREET/The offbeat side of the news

Sedita makes headlines

“Guilty Plea Entered in Pistol-Packing Pinhead’s Preposterous Plot to Pilfer Pizzeria”

Sounds like a headline from the National Enquirer or a lead-in to a story Irv Weinstein would have used in his Channel 7 Eyewitness News days.

But it is none of those things.

The wordy headline topped a news release this week from the office of Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III about a defendant who had admitted robbing two employees of La Nova Pizzeria of more than $5,700 in the West Side restaurant’s parking lot and then shooting at other employees who pursued and eventually caught him.

The guilty party behind the alliterative announcement? Sedita, who admits that he wrote it and many others like it.

“It goes back to watching Irv Weinstein and Eyewitness News,” he said, recalling the former anchorman famous for his references to “pistol-packing punks” and “Buffalo blaze busters.”

Some of the DA’s other consonantal creations include “Degenerate Defendant Denied,” on a news release about a child sex offender who lost an appeal of his conviction, and “Facebook Friends Are Felonious Fiends,” on a release about a teenager who announced on Facebook that he was selling a diamond ring and arranged on Facebook to meet an interested buyer on a street corner where the buyer and another youth took the ring, his wallet and his iPhone.

Headline writers at The Buffalo News and elsewhere need not worry. Sedita says he plans on keeping his day job.

Mixed drinks

It’s unclear why an allegedly unruly and intoxicated 55-year-old Adrian Boag of Orchard Park got out of his car and began pounding on the windows of a Southwestern Boulevard Tim Hortons at 1:45 a.m. Friday complaining about his coffee.

Maybe it didn’t have the right mix of cream and sugar. Perhaps it didn’t live up to its claim as “Always Fresh.”

Could have been that it was just plain ol’ joe. Or, more likely, it was some other beverage fueling the pounding. When Orchard Park police arrived, Boag failed sobriety tests and was arrested.

A breath test later revealed he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.22 percent, nearly three times the legal limit, and he was charged with driving while intoxicated, aggravated DWI, open container, unattended motor vehicle and three counts of disorderly conduct.

Boag, who was held for arraignment, might consider sticking to straight coffee. Orchard Park police reported it was his seventh alcohol-related arrest.

Not child’s play

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman was in town Friday to talk about relief for local governments and neighborhoods when it comes to abandoned properties.

Some of these houses, which deteriorate as neighbors watch helplessly, have been abandoned by their owners but cannot be bought by another homeowner because they are still in foreclosure.

These properties have been dubbed “zombie foreclosures” because the foreclosure has been started by the bank but has not been finished, leaving the property in limbo.

The label for these properties has been adopted by people who study and write about housing trends.

Schneiderman stressed that the phrase “is not something that my daughter and her friends made up, obsessed as they are with zombies. That’s actually what they’re called.”

Let’s put this to rest

Actor George Takei, who played Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek but has since become a social media celebrity by curating funny pictures that spread around like wildfire, this week shared a photo that is an old joke in Western New York.

One of his 6.5 million Facebook fans had sent him a picture of the sign outside one of Amigone Funeral Home’s many locations, and he topped it with the question, “Well, if you have to ask ...”

To which a commenter recalled another curiously named, though lesser known, Kenmore institution.

“Poor Bury Funeral Home never got the notice it deserved.”

Written by Jill Terreri, with contributions from James Staas and T.J. Pignataro. email: