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Career criminal sentenced for casino purse snatchings

The father who was the get-away driver when his son was robbing women in local casino parking lots was sentenced Tuesday morning in State Supreme Court.

Daniel C. Tatar, 46, who pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted robbery in the third degree, received terms of up to three years in prison on each count.

Tatar’s attorney Frank LoTempio tried to downplay his client’s role in the crimes, in which his son Douglas Tatar, 21, accosted women outside the casinos, shoved them to the ground and stole their purses. LoTempio said Tatar’s behavior was due to his ongoing drug use.

Justice Penny M. Wolfgang countered that Tatar was no newcomer to the criminal justice system.

“Mr. Tatar is a criminal, and he’s been a criminal for a long, long time, going back to 1987,” the judge said, as she cited local and federal convictions in Erie and Cattaraugus counties, where he was convicted of felony arson in 2008.

“Wherever he is, he is a criminal, using the drug addict excuse – which none of us cares about,” she said.

One of the robbery victims was injured when she fell and requested $140 restitution for her medical co-pays.

Unfortunately, Wolfgang said, “I cannot order restitution. The defendant does nothing but commit crimes and has no resources,” so she recommended the woman contact the Crime Victims Restitution Fund.

The younger Tatar, who previously pleaded guilty to two robberies, was sentenced Thursday to a year in jail on each count.

The crimes were committed in the spring in the parking lots of the Hamburg and downtown casinos. The men targeted older woman, with one of the purse snatchings occurring at noon and the other in the evening.


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