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Buffalo man pleads guilty to menacing police officer with AR-15

Officer Daniel O’Neill was right around the corner April 4 when he received a report of a man with a rifle on Perry Street.

It was 7:15 on a Monday morning.

Brandon Studd was in the middle of the street, waving around an AR-15 when Officer O’Neill spotted him.

O’Neill saw Studd again Wednesday in State Supreme Court when the tall, bearded defendant pleaded guilty to one count of menacing a police officer, a felony.

After the plea, O’Neill, 36, described how he handled things that April morning.

O’Neill said he saw Studd with the rifle and parked a short distance away.

“I announced myself and yelled at him to drop the weapon,” O’Neill said. “I told him to drop the weapon multiple times. He yelled back, but he was incoherent.”

O’Neill took cover behind his patrol car and waited for backup.

“We tried to explain ourselves and the situation he was in. That went on for three or four minutes until he finally dropped the weapon. We had to go kick it away; he dropped it right at his feet.”

O’Neill said evidence found in Studd’s Perry Street home indicated he was a heavy drug user, and investigators believe he was snorting prescription drugs before he armed himself and went out to the street.

Justice Penny M. Wolfgang did not make a firm sentencing commitment but said Studd would serve his sentence on this charge after he completes another sentence that is pending in a Cattaraugus County case.

In that case, Assistant District Attorney Sara Dee said, Studd was convicted of attempted burglary.

“He stole the rifle he was holding from his father’s house,” Dee said.

email: mmiller@buffnews.com

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