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Falls man with history of driving issues is indicted

LOCKPORT – A Niagara Falls man was accused Wednesday of striking a Falls police officer with his vehicle and of firing a gun in the city.

Dempsey Freeman, 23, of Fairfield Avenue, pleaded not guilty to both indictments in Niagara County Court.

Assistant District Attorney Claudette S. Caldwell said Freeman allegedly backed up his vehicle Jan. 6 after being stopped by Officer Wayne General, struck the officer and fled, throwing away a gun as he ran. Crack cocaine allegedly was found on him when he was caught. He was indicted on charges of first-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and not wearing a seat belt.

In the other case, Freeman picked up more reckless endangerment and weapons counts for allegedly firing a gun March 31 in the Falls.

His arraignment had been postponed from Monday because, defense attorney Michael C. Schmahl said, Freeman was pulled over by police Monday and charged with reckless driving and aggravated unlicensed operation after police said they received multiple complaints from civilians.

In June 2014 Freeman was arrested by State Police after a high-speed chase in a Jaguar, in which he was not wearing a seat belt. On that occasion, he also fled on foot after the chase and was caught with drugs in his possession, police said at the time.