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Time runs out for Buffalo driver who eluded two police chases

The third time was not the charm for Dennis Walter.

The 42-year-old Buffalo man, who was on the radar of city police for his alleged involvement in a vehicle chase about three weeks ago, was able to elude police again early Tuesday morning, according to a police report.

It was about 1:45 a.m. when a police officer near the intersection of Bailey Avenue and Wecker Street recognized Walter behind the wheel of a gray Ford Escape heading south on Bailey. It was the same vehicle police believe Walter used to flee on Nov. 18, an officer wrote in court documents.

When the officer tried pulling him over this time, Walter took off again.

Though police initially chased him, they eventually called off the pursuit "for safety reasons" after Walter zigzagged through the neighborhood northeast of the intersection of Bailey and Genesee Street. About 30 minutes later, officers spotted his vehicle on East Ferry Street, near Cambridge Avenue, close to a mile from where he was last seen.

Police thought they had him cornered, but Walter made another attempt to flee, nearly striking a police lieutenant who approached his SUV in the middle of East Ferry and told him to shut off his engine. The other police vehicles managed to box Walter in and prevent his escape, according to a police report.

"The defendant was unable to ram through the police barricade," the officer wrote.

The lieutenant, who police said was nearly struck by Walter's vehicle, smashed open Walter's driver's side window with a flashlight. Walter was removed from the vehicle by police. Once officers put him in the back of a patrol car, they pried open his clenched fist, in which he was holding three rocks of crack cocaine, according to the report.

Walter, of Alma Avenue, was charged with attempted assault of a police officer, fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, reckless endangerment, tampering with evidence and second-degree obstruction of governmental administration.

Walter – who was convicted of driving while intoxicated in September 2017, according to the officer's statement in court documents – also was ticketed for first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, reckless driving and driving without an ignition interlock device, among other citations.

There's a record of the Nov. 18 incident in the Buffalo Police Department's computer-aided dispatch system, but there was no report written, so no further details about the incident were publicly available, according to the department.

Walter is scheduled to return to Buffalo City Court for a felony hearing on Monday.

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