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Incidents of domestic violence, neglect lead to weekend arrests in Buffalo

Neglect, physical attacks and threats against children led to arrests by Buffalo police over the Memorial Day weekend.

At 8:45 p.m. Sunday, South District officers noticed two young children leaning out of a second-floor window on Pritchard Street trying to get the attention of passers-by. The children, 5 and 3, had been padlocked into their bedroom by their parents, who had left the home, police said.

“Help, we can’t get out. The door won’t open,” the children screamed and cried, according to Officers Adrian F. Evans and Michael J. Healy.

The officers entered the house and knocked down the bedroom door to free the unattended children.

Three other youngsters were in the house but were unaware that the parents had left, according to police.

Melissa M. Khanthavout, 34, and Carlos M. Fuqua, 30, were charged with endangering the welfare of their children. Police called for Erie County Child Protective Services to conduct a follow-up investigation.

At 6:20 p.m. Sunday, in the Ferry-Fillmore District, Isaiah Powers allegedly shoved his girlfriend and her three children down a flight of steps in their home in the first block of Vanderbilt Street, according to investigating officers.

Zenora J. Abernathy told police that Powers had started attacking her during a fight over a cellphone and that he slammed her head and scratched and bit her. A neighbor called 911 to report the attack and that the three children were outside the house crying.

Officers Marcus L. Fears and Andrea A. Anderson charged Powers, 25, of Goethe Street, with assault, endangering the welfare of the children, harassment, criminal mischief and petit larceny. A Rural/Metro Medical Services ambulance crew provided first aid to Abernathy at the scene.

At 10 p.m. Sunday on the West Side, Jose M. Grafals, 36, allegedly kicked down the door of a woman’s residence in the 300 block of Vermont Street during a burglary. When he saw the woman, Grafals threatened her by saying he would “empty his ‘.40’ into her,” referring to a handgun, and “have someone come and take care of her and her daughters,” according Central District Officer James R. McAndrew.

Grafals, also of the 300 block of Vermont, was charged with burglary, menacing and harassment.

Also at about 10 p.m. Sunday in South Buffalo, Victor M. Irizarry Jr. was arrested for allegedly harassing a woman at her Yale Place home and several other people there, including three children, according to Officers Caitlin M. Meegan and Douglas P. Hayden. Irizarry, 43, of Clinton Street, allegedly threatened to have gang members kill the residents and “burn down their house.”

At approximately the same time Sunday night in South Buffalo, Officers Peter C. Nigrelli and Sara Jo M. Keaton charged Jammie L. Meldrum, 27, of the 100 block of Altruria Street, with assault and harassment after she allegedly hit Connor K. Kuebler in the head and face at Altruria and South Park Avenue.

At about 9:50 p.m. Saturday, in the Northeast District, Allen Phifer, 31, of Kenfield Court, allegedly beat and choked a woman in their residence. Phifer allegedly attacked a Hempstead Avenue man in the same incident, and threatened him with a knife.

Officer Joseph J. Christopher charged Phifer with assault, criminal possession of a knife and harassment.