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Psych patient deemed incompetent in choking case

A psychiatric patient who allegedly went onto a porch and attempted to choke a 14-year-old girl has been deemed incompetent to stand trial and remanded to a secure mental health facility for treatment.

Joseph Gadawski, 29, is charged with attempted murder for allegedly choking the victim until she was unconscious. He was an outpatient at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center when the incident occurred, according to police. The girl was on the front porch of her home on Abbottsford Place last April 16 when Gadawski, who lived nearby, was walking past. He reportedly darted onto the property and began choking the girl for reasons unknown. A neighbor and mail carrier were able to pull the attacker away before the victim suffocated.

Other neighbors also responded and helped detain Gadawski until police arrived. He was arrested and taken to a psychiatric unit at Erie County Medical Center.

The victim recovered consciousness and was examined at Women & Children's Hospital, but did not need to be admitted.

Erie County Judge Sheila A. DiTullio accepted the examiners' report on Gadawski's competency Wednesday and set Jan. 17 as a return date for a report on his status. Gadawski is being treated at the Rochester Psychiatric Center.

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