A man who tried to escape a police interrogation by leaping out of a window at Buffalo Police Headquarters has been indicted by a grand jury in connection with two sexual attacks.
Timothy DiCenzo, 33, of Buffalo, hurled himself out of a third-floor window in the police building last November, after detectives from the Sex Offense Squad brought him in for questioning about a sexual attack, police said. He was unable to run and had to be hospitalized after his leap to the pavement.
DiCenzo has now been indicted on multiple charges in connection with the Nov. 3, 2015 rape of a woman in broad daylight near Hillery Park Elementary School and a May 7, 2013 rape of a woman at Southside Elementary School, acting Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty Jr. said on Friday.
“DiCenzo was identified as the perpetrator in both rapes after DNA testing positively linked him to the crimes,” Flaherty said.
He pleaded not guilty during his arraignment before State Supreme Court Judge M. William Boller.
DiCenzo had rejected a plea offer that would have included a 30-year prison term. After he turned that down, the case went to the grand jury.
Flaherty praised Sex Offense Squad detectives and patrol officers from the Buffalo Police A District for their work on the sex crimes, which greatly upset people who lived and worked near the two elementary schools.
“The big break in this case, in developing the defendant as a suspect, came from the patrol officers and their supervisors, who are engaged in and familiar with the communities they protect,” the DA said.
The probe took an unusual turn on the evening of Nov. 15, after detectives took DiCenzo to Police Headquarters on Franklin Street downtown for questioning.
Detectives said that, when they asked the suspect about the rape that had occurred 12 days earlier, he asked for an attorney. Detectives left him alone briefly in an interview room, and he forced open a special lock on a window and jumped. Police said afterward that they were seeking to improve procedures to make sure there were no repeats of that incident.
In the 2015 attack, police said, a woman was walking alone around 11:45 a.m. when a man approached her from behind, struck her with some type of weapon and pulled her into a secluded area and raped her.
DiCenzo faces two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of first-degree criminal sexual act and one count first-degree rape. The case prosecutors are Roseanne E. Johnson, chief of the DA’s Special Victims Bureau, and Ryan D. Haggerty, who is also assigned to the bureau.