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Police officer hurt while investigating gas station robbery

A Buffalo police officer was injured Saturday night after he stopped a car during an investigation of an armed robbery at a nearby gas station and market.

Polcie said the incident began around 8:35 p.m., when three men, one of them wearing a face mask, entered the Fast Mart in the Valero station at 410 Rhode Island St. and threatened the cashier with a revolver. The three men took $400 from the cash register and fled along Brayton Street in a dark four-door sedan.

About 10 minutes later, as police were searching for the robbers, they saw Joaquin Cruz, 21, of LaForce Place, driving a car occupied by three other young men, Mone Witherspoon, 22, of Sherwood Street; Luis Lanzo, 22, of Prospect Ave.; and John Simmons of 14th Street. Police said the vehicle took off at a high rate of speed and when it finally stopped, the men refused to get out. Police said that in dealing with the four, Officer Todd McAllister suffered a separated shoulder.

Cruz was charged with assault on a police officer, a class C felony; first-degree reckles endangerment, a class D felony; second-degree unlawfully fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, a class E felony; as well as issuing a bed check, reckless driving, violating the speed limit and passing a stop sign. Police said Simmons violated a judicial order by being in the company of Witherspoon.