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Erie County Sheriff's Dept. Report 2016

Sheriff's Dept. Report 2015

Erie County Sheriff's Dept. Official Website

December 24 - December 30, 2016

December 17 - December 23, 2016

December 10 - December 16, 2016

December 3 - December 9, 2016

November 26 - December 2, 2016

Sheriff's Office Launches New Mobile App - December 2016

   Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard announces announces the release of the new Erie County Sheriff's Office iPhone and Android mobile app as a service to the community. The app is available for download free of charge from the app stores. The new app is an innovative approach to help Erie County citizens, businesses, and visitors stay tuned to important news and resources from the Sheriff’s office. After downloading the app onto your smartphone or tablet, you can receive important and timely alerts and notifications from the sheriff’s office. One of the app's key features is Submit a Tip, which enables users to submit anonymous tips about narcotics, underage drinking, human trafficking and other incidents via email and texts or with their contact information. The tip lines also allow users to submit a photo with the tip.
    Important features include:
  • Warrant Watch
  • Sheriff sales
  • Quick connections to Narcotics, Underage Drinking, and Domestic Violence Hotlines
  • Inmate search
  • Sheriff’s office social media feeds
        To engage the community in public safety, anyone with the app can use the "Share our App" feature to forward alerts and download links to friends, family, and neighbors. "Our new mobile app will help us empower the public to be our partners in public safety with critical news and alerts," said Sheriff Timothy Howard. "The public will be able to submit confidential crime tips to us right through the app. The Erie County Sheriff's Office exists to protect and serve our community therefore; our new app will help us to be even more effective in that mission."
        The Erie County Sheriff's Office mobile app was created by TheSheriffApp.com, a division of OCV, LLC, which specializes in mobile app development for sheriff's offices and public safety. With more 200 apps in the app stores, OCV designs and develops custom apps for state, county, and local government agencies. Seized asset funds were used to fund the development of the app.

    November 19 - November 25, 2016

    November 12 - November 18, 2016

    Roving DWI Patrols Added - November 2016

       Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard announces his office will have added roving DWI patrols throughout the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.The added patrols will be funded through Erie County's STOP-DWI office.

    November 5 - November 11, 2016

    October 29 - November 4, 2016

    October 22 - October 28, 2016

    Search Discovers Hundreds of Pills - November 2016

       October 26, 9:16 P.M., Grand Island - Deputy Day performed a traffic stop on Whitehaven Road. The Deputy's investigation discovered the operator's driver license and the vehicle's registration were both suspended. The subsequent search of the vehicle discovered 393 codeine pills weighing approximately 5.9 ounces. Jonathan Chamberlain, 23 of Niagara Falls, was charged with a class B-felony for criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, a class A-felony for criminal possession of a controlled substance, and a misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle with a suspended registration. The defendant was released from the Erie County Holding Center following his arraignment.

    Sheriff Howard Halloween Safety Tips - October 2016

       Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard wants Halloween to be as safe as it is fun so he is offering the following safety tips to help parents plan a safe and fun Halloween evening for your family. Sheriff Howard asks parents and guardians to review these safety guidelines with and set ground rules before heading out.
  • Map out your route and check it against the New York State Sex Offender Registry at www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/nsor.
  • Accompany your young children and plan to go when it is light out.
  • Feed your children a meal or substantial snack before trick or treating.
  • Have children save all candy until they get home.
  • Inspect all treats; throw away unwrapped, open, or suspicious looking goodies.
  • Fake knives, swords, guns, and other costume accessories can potentially cause injury. Make sure they aren't too long for the costume and review with your child that they are part of the costume and not a weapon.
  • Keep costumes short to prevent trips and falls.
  • Try using make-up instead of a mask.
  • Costumes with light colors and/or reflective tape are best. Someone in the group should carry a flashlight. Consider putting reflective tape on their bags too.
  • Children should always trick-or-treat in groups preferably with adult supervision a
  • Carry a cell phone for quick communication.
  • Children should be instructed to stop only at familiar homes and where the outside lights are on.
  • NEVER go into a home or car to collect treats. They should not stop at houses that are dark or do not have the porch lights turned on.
  • Don't forget to inspect fruit and homemade treats for anything that looks suspicious.
  • Treats with open packaging or torn wrappers should be discarded.
  • Children and adults should inspect all treats and only consume unopened candies and treats in original wrappers.
    At Home:
  • Put away anything children could trip over.
  • Turn the lights on and replace any burned-out bulbs at the walkway and front door.
  • Remember, your jack-o-lantern and any other candles or electrical decorations can be a fire hazard. Keep them out of the reach of small children and away from flammable materials.
  • Never leave your house unattended. If you have to leave your house, make sure all the doors are locked.
    The Sheriff's Office will have increased patrols on October 31, but planning on your part is the best way to ensure a safe Halloween.

    October 15 - October 21, 2016

    October 8 - October 14, 2016

    October 1 - October 7, 2016

    National Grid Telephone Scam - October 2016

       Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports the office received several calls yesterday about telephone scammers threatening businesses who don’t pay their National Grid invoice. The scammers are threatening a technician is en route to the business to disconnect the service if the company does not pay the bill immediately. The scammer insists the company purchase pre-paid money or credit cards and call a 1-800 telephone number and follow the prompts to pay the bill.
        The Erie County Sheriff's office strongly advises individuals or companies who receive a call like this to ignore the scammer rather the Sheriff's office suggests they call their service provider at the number on the official bill to verify the status of their account.This is the latest in an on-going string of telephone scams where the callers misrepresent themselves as a representative of a utility company or government agency and threaten punitive action if the issue isn't settled immediately over the phone.

    Grand Island Arrests - October 2016

       October 8, 3 a.m., Town of Grand Island - Deputy Day initiated a traffic stop on Whitehaven Road on a vehicle with equipment violations. While attempting to stop the vehicle, the Deputy observed a passenger throwing items out of the vehicle. During the Deputy's investigation, he discovered the driver's license was suspended and both occupants were detained. During a search of the vehicle a quantity and crack cocaine and marijuana were discovered and the occupants were arrested. The driver, Neko Bishop, 28 of Buffalo, was charged with felony counts for criminal possession of a narcotic and tampering with physical evidence as well as a misdemeanor count of aggravated unlicensed operation and numerous vehicle and traffic violations. Joshua Salvo, 22 of Niagara Falls, was charged with felony counts for criminal possession of a narcotic and tampering with physical evidence. An additional bag of crack was located along the road. Both defendants were taken to the Erie County Holding Center.
       October 9, 4:24 p.m., Town of Grand Island - Deputy Ginnane responded to calls of an individual using narcotics in a parking lot on Grand Island Boulevard. The Deputy detained two individuals and searched the vehicle where he discovered multiple bags of heroin, hypodermic syringes, and other paraphernalia. Arrested and charged were Sean Riordan, 24 of Grand Island, and Michael Wienckowski, 26 of Grand Island, for criminal possession of a controlled substance and possession of a hypodermic instrument. Riordan was taken to the Erie County Holding Center while Wienckowski was turned over to Cheektowaga Police Department for an outstanding warrant.
       October 9, 11:43 p.m., Town of Grand Island - Deputies Rogers and Coniglio stopped a vehicle for erratic operation on Interstate 190 near River Road. Subsequent to the investigation, Naomi Paolucci, 30 of Depew, was found to be in possession of heroin and marijuana. The subject was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana. She was taken to the Erie County Holding Center.

    September 24 - September 30, 2016

    September 17 - September 23, 2016

    September 10 - September 16, 2016

    Governor Proclaims Sept. 18-24 Sheriff's Week in NYS - September 2016

       Albany, NY - Governor Cuomo has proclaimed the week of September 18-24, 2016 to be Sheriff's Week in New York State. Sheriff's Week celebrates the significant contributions made by the office of sheriff in county government and in the statewide criminal justice system. Fifty-five of New York's 58 sheriffs are elected officials, accountable to the citizen voter every 4 years and responsible for the complex operations of a sheriff's office, which can include criminal law enforcement, traffic patrol, emergency rescue operations, homeland security programs, SWAT operations, civil emergency response, jail operations, correctional alternative management, courtroom security, and civil litigation process.
       To mark the occasion, the New York State Sheriffs' Association is sharing two public service announcements designed to inform the public about all the public safety services provided by their sheriff. The New York State Sheriffs' Association, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation formed in 1934 to assist all 58 of New York's sheriffs in serving and protecting the citizenry through member-supported training programs, accreditation, legislative advocacy, and public safety programs. Visit www.nysheriffs.org.

    September 3 - September 9, 2016

    Yellow Dot Awareness Campaign - September 2016

       Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard announced the launching of a city and county wide Yellow Dot Program awareness campaign with his partners from the New York State Sheriffs' Association, Erie County Medical Center, Better Business Bureau of Upstate NY, Bertrand-Chaffee Hospital, and Erie County Department of Senior Services.
        The Sheriff's Office, along with its partners, will begin a year-long awareness campaign to enroll members of the community into the Yellow Dot program. The campaign will begin September 13 at the Amherst Senior Center, 370 John James Audubon Pkwy, at 12:30. The Sheriff's Office will host a series of monthly community meetings throughout the City of Buffalo and Erie County to detail this lifesaving program and assist families with enrolling elderly parents, grandparents, and individuals with special medical needs.
        Sheriff Timothy Howard stated, "Upon learning of the Yellow Dot Program, I immediately implemented it in Erie County. I have conducted dozens of Yellow Dot presentations at senior centers, independent living facilities, and community centers through the past few years and the more presentations I did, the more requests my office received for meetings. Because I believe so strongly in this lifesaving program, I wanted to find partners that could help disseminate the information every day and the organizations here today will help achieve that goal."
        The Yellow Dot Program was developed by the New York State Sheriffs' Association as a free program designed to assist first responders provide life-saving medical attention during that first "golden hour" after a crash or other emergency. A Yellow Dot decal placed on the driver's side rear window of a vehicle will alert first responders that vital medical information is stored in the glove compartment. In addition to vehicles, the same decal can be placed on the entryway of a residence to alert responding emergency personnel of vital medical information stored in the dwelling's freezer.
        Alex Wilson, Associate Counsel New York State Sheriffs' Association, "The New York State Sheriffs' Association is proud to sponsor the Yellow Dot Program and thanks to the hard work and advocacy of our member Sheriffs, the Yellow Dot Program has blossomed. Yellow Dot can be a lifeline for people in distress, providing emergency first responders with that person's critical health information. We encourage everyone to participate in this free program."
        The Erie County Sheriff's Office has been partnering with local volunteer fire companies in training members of the companies to look for and recognize the distinctive symbol and immediately gather the medical information of the occupants. The first responders will secure the information and place the forms with the patient so emergency room personnel can have a current list of prescriptions and chronic medical conditions.
        With the health services community, the Sheriff's Office has partnered with Erie County Medical Center and Bertrand Chaffee Hospital to train emergency room staff to recognize the Yellow Dot form immediately upon the patient entering the facility. This information can assist the medical staff to quickly evaluate medical conditions and begin initial treatment. When the patient is ready to go home, hospital personnel will advise the individual of the Yellow Dot Program and encouraged them to enroll before their discharge. Each homeward bound patient will be given a Yellow Dot Program package with their discharge paperwork.
        Earlier this year, Sheriff Howard contacted various municipalities throughout Erie County and encouraged the governing boards to pass a resolution declaring it a "Yellow Dot Community." To date, the following communities have passed the resolution: Alden, Amherst, Angola, Boston, Clarence, Concord, East Aurora, Elma, Farnham, Grand Island, Holland, Lancaster, Newstead, North Collins, Orchard Park, Tonawanda, Springville, and Wales. For each community that declares its support of the Yellow Dot Program, it receives a distinctive sign which recognizes it as a Yellow Dot Community. The signs are paid for with support of the Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York. Warren Clark of the Better Business Bureau explains, "We are pleased to be part of this life-saving community awareness campaign. We represent both businesses and consumers and we dedicate much of our efforts to bringing important issues to the consumer that is why we felt it was a natural fit to partner with Sheriff Howard in this community-wide, life-saving program awareness campaign."
    The Erie County Sheriff's Office will be hosting community forums throughout the year with a schedule starting in September.
    September - Amherst, Senior Center, September 13, 12:30 p.m.
    October - Evans/Angola, A J Schmitt Elementary School
    November - Buffalo, First Calvary Church, William Street
    December - City of Lackawanna
    January - West Seneca
    February - South Buffalo
    March - Lancaster
    April - Delaware/North Districts of Buffalo
    May - Cheektowaga
    June - Hamburg
    July - Tonawanda
    (Some locations, times, and dates have yet to be finalized)

        The Erie County Sheriff's Office will also continue to host smaller forums throughout Erie County, for more information or to schedule a presentation please call 716.858.7308.

    Prostitution Operation Nets 5 Arrests - September 2016

       Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports that the Erie County Sheriff's Office performed prostitution operations Wednesday night in Grand Island and Detectives arrested four subjects on prostitution related charges while a fifth subject was arrested in association with a stolen car.
        Detectives from the Narcotics Unit and road patrol Deputies took part in a prostitution operation at prearranged and undisclosed locations in Grand Island. The first incident resulted in three arrests, Shawn Pryor, 24 of Niagara Falls, Barbara Schreiner, 25 of Niagara Falls, and Nichelle Robinson, 18 of Niagara Falls. Schreiner was arrested and charged after she agreed to have sex for money with a plain clothes Deputy. The three individuals were detained and the subsequent investigation discovered the vehicle the subjects used was reported stolen from a Cheektowaga owner. Following the investigation, Schreiner was charged with prostitution and felony criminal possession of a stolen property and Pryor was charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle, felony criminal possession of stolen property and promoting prostitution. While Robinson was charged with one count of felony criminal possession of stolen property. All defendants are held at the Erie County Holding Center pending their arraignment on September 8.
        The second operation resulted in the arrests of Malissa Collins, 34 of Buffalo, and Amy Lindgren, 36 of Buffalo, for prostitution. Collins and Lindgren are also held at the holding center pending their arraignment on September 8 in Grand Island.

    Deputy Sheriff's Exam Offered - September 2016

       Buffalo, NY -Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard is inviting all qualified candidates to take the Police Services Deputy Sheriff's exam on November 19, 2016. The deadline for the exam application is October 12, and candidates may obtain these forms at the Erie County Personnel Department, Rath County Office Building, 95 Franklin St., Buffalo or at area public libraries, town, village, and school district administrative offices. Interested individuals need to mail the completed application to the Erie County Department of Personnel, 95 Franklin St., Buffalo, NY 14202 - not the sheriff's office.
       Candidates who submit incomplete applications and documentation may be disqualified. The Erie County Department of Personnel reserves the right to reject for lateness or to accept applications filed after the advertised filing period. There is a non-refundable $30.00 filing fee for this exam and the fee must accompany your application. Candidates can send or bring a check or money order made payable to 'Erie County Personnel Department' and please write the examination number(s) on the check or money order. Individuals are urged not to send or bring cash. For more information about the exam and qualifications, candidates are asked to contact the Erie County Personnel Department (not the sheriff's office) or visit webpage.

    August 27 - September 2, 2016

    Sheriff's K9 Cort to Get Body Armor - September 2016

       Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard announced today that Erie County Sheriff's Office K9 Cort will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from the non-profit organization, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K9 Cort's vest will be embroidered with the sentiment "This gift of protection provided by Vested Interest in K9's, Inc". Delivery is expected within eight to ten weeks. Cort will be properly measured and fitted for his new protective vest and should receive it soon. Cort will be wearing the vest during his patrol shifts with his handler Deputy Jordan Grabar.
        The Erie County Sheriff's Office canines have received body armor from Vested Interest in K9s in the past but this is the first patrol work dog to receive a donation from the group. Cort is a certified narcotics detection canine as well as a patrol and tracking dog. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, MA whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 2,000 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over 1.7 million dollars. All vests are custom made in the USA by Armor Express in Central Lake, MI.
        The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies, certified, and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate. The donation to provide one protective vest for one law enforcement K9 is $1,050.00. Each vest has a value between $1,795 - $2,234 and a five-year warranty, and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at www.vik9s.org or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.

    Deputy Breaks Car Window to Rescue 9-Month Old Baby - August 2016

       Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports Deputies Vogl and Yavicoli responded to a call about an infant accidentally locked in a running vehicle Tuesday afternoon, August 30th in Grand Island. When the Deputies arrived, Deputy Vogl observed the baby's face was turning red and was sweating. The parents could not locate a spare key to unlock the door and the father permitted Deputy Vogl to break a window.
        Deputy Vogl went to the passenger side and smashed the front window. The mother assisted the Deputy in removing the child from the car seat and rushed the infant into the house where they place the child in a tub and ran cool water over the baby. The infant immediately responded to the treatment and became alert and responsive. EMS personnel were there and evaluated the infant and released the infant back to the parents. Assisted by Grand Island Police Department Officers, the Deputies' investigation deemed this was accidental and no charges were filed. Deputy Vogl sustained a laceration on her hand and by the time the Deputies cleared the scene the infant was fussing, crying and deemed well.

    August 20 - August 26, 2016

    Man Scams Women For Over $300K - August 2016

       Buffalo, NY...Thursday, August 25, 2016
       Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports Detective Brinkerhoff arrested a Grand Island male on felony fraud and larceny charges on August 23rd. It's alleged that Eric Marshall met the victim, a Connecticut woman, in 2009 online and began a romantic relationship. During the fake courtship, Marshall convinced her to send him money totaling $198,000 to purchase property and other items. Marshall further convinced the victim to send him money to buy a house in Western New York where the two would live. The victim was sending $700.00 per month for a mortgage payment for a house which didn't exist. In addition to the monthly mortgage payments, Marshall convinced the victim to send him money for his retail car business, for clothes, and airfare for out of state training.
       Ultimately, it was discovered that Marshall was scamming the victim and created false scenarios to swindle additional funds from the victim. Detective Brinkerhoff's investigation discovered two other victims, one from Western New York and a second from Long Island. Marshall created multiple fake online profiles and numerous aliases to meet women and convince them of his love and later defraud them of personal wealth totaling over $120,000.00. Marshall was arrested and charged with two counts of felony grand larceny and one count of felony scheme to defraud. Marshall has been arraigned and is held at the Erie County Holding Center without bail.

    Boating While Intoxicated - August 2016

    Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports the Sheriff's Marine Unit Deputies Krypel, Coulombe and Okal made several arrests over the weekend on the water and on land. One of the arrests occurred on the Niagara River near the shoreline of Grand Island on August 28, at 10:40 p.m. when the Marine Unit stopped a vessel for an equipment violation. While interviewing the operator Deputies Krypel, Okal, and Coulombe observed signs of intoxication and administered field sobriety tests. David Finn, 27 of Grand Island, failed the tests and registered a BAC level more than twice the legal limit. Finn was arrested and charged with BWI, unlawful possession of marijuana and navigational law violations. The defendant was released to a third party.

    Attempted Murder of Police Officer - August 2016

    Left: Sammy Abdellatif; right: Brittany Ashley-Graser

    UPDATE: Citizen Saves Deputy... Buffalo News Story by Aaron Besecker and Lou Michel.
       Buffalo, NY...Thursday, August 25, 2016
       Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports his Deputies arrested Sammy Abdellatif for Attempted Murder of a Police Officer, an A-1 felony, after a traffic stop on East River Road in Grand Island. The incident began around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday when Deputy Clark was investigating an unrelated suspicious vehicle report at a hotel on East River Road. During his investigation, a vehicle drove back and forth by the scene, at least twice, with the passenger shouting threats and obscenities at Deputy Clark. The Deputy cleared the suspicious person call and performed a traffic stop on the vehicle from which the threats originated. During the traffic stop, Deputy Clark identified the person making the threats as Sammy Abdellatif. When the Deputy attempted to arrest Abdellatif on disorderly conduct charges, Abdellatif rolled up the window nearly trapping the Deputy's hand; the Deputy was forced to break the vehicle's window to prevent being trapped between the glass and the vehicle.
        Abdellatif exited the vehicle and immediately began physically and violently assaulting Deputy Clark. The driver, identified as Brittany Ashley-Graser, exited the vehicle and jumped on the back of the Deputy. As the Deputy attempted to gain control of Abdellatif and fight off Ashley-Graser, a pit bull exited the vehicle and was aggressive toward the Deputy. At this point Peter O'Brien a civilian passer-by stopped and engaged the assailants freeing Deputy Clark from Abdellatif's choke hold; O'Brien was then attacked by the dog.
        A second Deputy assigned to Grand Island arrived at the scene and observed his partner on the ground bleeding and gasping for air; Abdellatif took an aggressive and offensive posture toward Deputy Coniglio. At gunpoint, Deputy Coniglio, in a clear and loud tone, ordered the subject to the ground however it took several commands to gain Abdellatif's compliance. When Abdellatif finally complied with Deputy Coniglio's orders, the injured Deputy crawled over to Abdellatif and handcuffed him. During this time Ashley-Graser stepped between Deputy Coniglio and Abdellatif interfering with Deputy Coniglio's attempt to approach Abdellatif. Deputy Coniglio ordered Ashley-Graser to step aside and Abdellatif was finally escorted to a patrol vehicle. There Abdellatif again became aggressive and kicked Deputy Coniglio. The Deputy gained control of Abdellatif and placed him in the back of the sheriff's vehicle.
        Abdellatif, 22 of Grand Island, was charged with attempted murder and is held at the Erie County Holding Center pending his arraignment in Grand Island Town Court. Brittany Ashley-Graser, 21 of Grand Island, was arrested and charged with felony assault, obstruction of governmental administration, and resisting arrest and is held at the holding center pending her arraignment. Deputy Clark was taken to Erie County Medical Center for serious but non-life-threatening injuries and was released Thursday morning. The investigation continues and additional charges may be pending.

    August 13 - August 19, 2016

    August 6 - August 12, 2016

    Drug Arrests Overnite - August 2016

       Buffalo, NY...Thursday, August 18, 2016
        12:35 a.m., Town of Grand Island - Deputy Lundberg made a traffic stop on Whitehaven Road for a vehicle without proper lighting. During his investigation information was developed for reasonable cause to search the vehicle. Deputy Lundberg and his canine partner, Haso, searched the vehicle and Haso gave two alerts and indications for the presence of a controlled substance. The Deputy discovered a smoking pipe, a jar of marijuana, and a container filled with multiple glass smoking pipes in the vehicle. Subsequently, the Deputy arrested Joseph Alkhatib, 19 of Niagara Falls, and Justin Graesser, 19 of Grand Island, for unlawful possession of marijuana. Both defendants were released on appearance tickets.
       2:43 a.m., Town of Grand Island - Deputy Day performed a traffic stop on Route 190 southbound for vehicle and traffic violations. During the Deputy's investigation, it was discovered that Brian Barrett, 36 of Collins, has eight active suspensions on his license. Following his arrest, the Deputy searched the vehicle and discovered a plastic container of marijuana. Ultimately, the defendant was released on traffic and appearance tickets.

    July 30 - August 5, 2016

    July 23 - July 29, 2016

    Suspect Arrested During Raid - July 2016

       Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports the arrest of Robert Rovison in connection with a Grand Island burglary where a gun was stolen. Erie County Sheriff's Detectives assigned to the Grand Island case developed information which led them to believe Rovison, 21 of Grand Island, was a suspect in the Wednesday incident. Thursday afternoon, Detectives along with members of the Sheriff's SWAT Team and Buffalo Police Department executed a search warrant at an Esser Avenue residence and recovered a stolen handgun from Wednesday's Grand Island burglary and a felony amount of cocaine. Detectives arrested Rovison and charged him with felony counts of criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of stolen property, criminal possession of a controlled substance - cocaine, criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, and attempting to destroy evidence. Rovison is at the Erie County Holding Center pending his arraignment in Buffalo City Court on July 29.

    July 9 - July 22, 2016

    Multiple Break-Ins on GI - July 2016

       Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard is warning residents of Grand Island to secure their residences and vehicles after a string of break-ins over the past 24-hours. Tuesday, and through the overnight hours, Deputies and Detectives have been responding to multiple calls on Harvey Road, Grand Island Boulevard, First Street and Center Terrace for car larcenies and home burglaries. The subjects took laptops, cash, credit cards, electronics and personal items. In the car larceny incidents, the victims' vehicles were unlocked and items were taken at various times throughout the day; one of the burglaries entailed the subject or subjects removing a window air conditioning unit to gain access to the residence.
        The Erie County Sheriff's Office believes a white pickup truck with a loud muffler and possibly multiple occupants may be associated with these incidents and urges residents with information about the truck or the incidents to contact the Erie County Sheriff's Office at 716.858.2903. Sheriff Timothy Howard reminds residents to remove any item of value from your vehicle and to always lock the vehicle. In the past, subjects, in similar incidents, were stealing as little as a few dollars in change. By removing valuables and locking vehicles, individuals reduce the risk of the vehicles being broken into. Additionally, residents should take measures to secure all access point to their dwellings by locking doors and windows.

    DWI Crash Into West Niagara River - July 2016

       Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports the arrest of Tanner Atkinson, 20 of Grand Island, after an investigation following a crash into the Niagara River discovered Atkinson was intoxicated. Just after midnight on July 20, Deputies arrived at the intersection of Love Road and West River Parkway where they observed members of the Grand Island Fire Department trying to extract two occupants from the vehicle which was lying on its side in about one foot of water.
       Once freed from the vehicle, Deputies interviewed the driver and administered standard field sobriety tests. It was determined that Atkinson, was impaired and he was taken into custody. The Deputies' observed visible skid marks on the roadway near the scene and debris was strewn over several hundred feet ahead of where the vehicle crashed through trees and landed in the river. Deputies also discovered numerous empty beer cans in the vehicle’s cabin and an empty case of beer. The defendant and his passenger were transported to Erie County Medical Center for the treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Atkinson was charged with DWI and several infractions including drinking in a vehicle on a highway, speeding, and failing to stop at a stop sign. The defendant faces a future court date in Grand Island Town Court.

    GI Man Arrested for Threatening Deputy - July 2016

       Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard announces the arrest of Sammy Abdellatif, 22 of Grand Island, for aggravated harassment charges after he called Erie County Sheriff's Dispatchers and threatened to "murder" a Deputy. On July 18, at approximately 1:04 a.m., Dispatchers received a phone call from an individual who identified himself as Sammy Abdellatif. During the call, Abdellatif threatened to "murder his ass straight up" the next time he saw a specific Deputy. Abdellatif was upset about an earlier traffic stop in which his vehicle was stopped for equipment violations, the female operator was uncooperative, and she refused to provide her proper name or produce a driver's license. The Deputy issued a ticket to the female for driving without her license and had the vehicle towed; ultimately the vehicle was towed to Abdellatif's residence. Abdellatif was arrested just before 2 a.m. Monday morning after another Deputy initiated a traffic stop on the same vehicle already known to be owned by Abdellatif. The subject was in the vehicle and was taken into custody and charged with Aggravated Harassment 2nd Degree. Following his arraignment in Grand Island Town Court, Abdellatif remains in custody in lieu of $1000.00 bail.

    July 2 - July 8, 2016

    June 25 - July 1, 2016

    June 18 - June 24, 2016

    Marine Unit Operation Dry Water - June 2016

       Buffalo, NY...June 24, 2016 - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard announces the Erie County Sheriff's Marine Unit will be on heighten alert for boaters operating a vessel under the influence during the annual Operation Dry Water campaign this weekend, June 24-26. Operation Dry Water is a nationally coordinated awareness and enforcement campaign focused on deterring boaters from operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
        According to national statistics alcohol is the leading contributing factor in recreational boater deaths and a leading factor in boating accidents; in 2015, 17% of boater deaths were alcohol related. The Erie County Sheriff's Office Marine Unit will focus its efforts this weekend on deterring impaired boaters and educating the public about the dangers of boating while impaired. Since the inception of the Operation Dry Water campaign in 2009, law enforcement officers have removed nearly 2,000 BWI operators for the nation's waterways and the sheriff's Marine Unit has made twenty BWI arrests in the past five years.
       As recently as 11:20 p.m. yesterday, members of the Marine Unit made a Boating While Intoxicated arrest on the Niagara River. Marine patrol Deputies Coulombe and Okal stopped a vessel operated by John C. Sirianni, 40 of Williamsville, for not having sufficient navigational lights. Further investigation led to Sirianni's arrest for BWI. The defendant was later released to a sober third party on tickets returnable to Buffalo City Court.
       Water and weather conditions such as, the wind, noise, currents, and the movement of the boat intensifies the effects of drugs and alcohol and boaters can become impaired more quickly on the water than on land. The Marine Unit's BWI efforts are a season long campaign with the mission of reducing the number of BWI accidents and fatalities through increased boater awareness and having a visible presence on the water to deter alcohol and drug use.

    June 11 - June 17, 2016

    June 4 - June 10, 2016

    Driver With 46 Suspensions Arrested on GI - June 2016

       Buffalo, NY...June 15, 2016 - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports on June 13, at approximately 9:45 p.m. Deputy Thurston stopped a vehicle for operating without tail lights and failing to stop for a red light at Whitehaven and Baseline roads. As Deputy Thurston investigated the driver, Enoch Cray - 49 of Rochester, he discovered that Cray's license had forty-six active suspensions and his driving privileges are revoked. Cray was arrested and charged with felony aggravated unlicensed operation, passing a red light, and two additional vehicle and traffic violations. The defendant was taken into custody and held at the Erie County Holding Center pending his arraignment on June 15. During his investigation, the Deputy discovered the passenger, Lisa Lee - 43 of Niagara Falls, had an outstanding Erie County Family Court Warrant for failure to pay child support. Lee was arrested and held at the holding center on $500 bail; Lee has since been released.

    May 28 - June 3, 2016

    Counter Prostitution Operation Arrests 2 - June 2016

       Buffalo, NY...June 8, 2016 - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports Detective and Deputies conducted a counter prostitution operation at a Grand Island Hotel Thursday night which resulted in two females arrested for prostitution and drug charges. Ann Canino, 53 of Buffalo, and Laura Kane, 37 of Niagara Falls, were both arrested after they agreed to perform sexual acts for money. Following the prostitution arrests, the defendants were searched and Deputies found crack pipes with residue in their possession; the charges are prostitution and criminal possession of a controlled substance. The defendants were released with appearance tickets for Grand Island Town Court on July 27.

    Traffic Violations - June 2016

       Buffalo, NY...June 8, 2016 - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports, Deputy Day stopped a vehicle operated by Steve Law, 26 of Niagara Falls, for traffic violations along Whitehaven Road. Deputy Day discovered Law had an active warrant from the Town of Niagara for aggravated unlicensed operation charges. The Town of Niagara Police Department made arrangements to transfer custody of Law and the vehicle was towed.

    May 21 - May 27, 2016

    May 14 - May 20, 2016

    Larceny Arrests on GI - May 2016

       Buffalo, NY...May 23, 2016 - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports the Detective bureau made several arrests over the weekend in several open larceny cases. William Pendrys, 21 of Grand Island, was arrested by Detectives and charged with burglary criminal possession of cocaine, criminal mischief, and unlawful possession of marijuana after an investigation revealed the subject broke into a Revere Road residence and stole electronic goods, jewelry, and cash. Pendrys is housed the Erie County Holding center on $5,000.00 bail.
        Detectives arrested an 18-year-old female of Grand Island after the sheriff's office received reports of fraudulent checks cashed from the complainant's checking account. Detectives charged the subject with two separate counts of identity theft, grand larceny, all felonies, and forgery. The defendant was released on an appearance ticket and is scheduled to be in Grand Island Town Court in June.

    May 7 - May 13, 2016

    April 30 - May 6, 2016

    Rash of Car Break-Ins Throughout Area - May 2016

       Buffalo, NY...May 10, 2016 - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports his office has responded to nearly twenty larceny calls over the past few days. The larcenies have occurred during the overnight hours and in the day time; the thieves are grabbing any items they can from the cabin of the vehicle. The towns that have had reported car larcenies so far are Boston, Concord, Elma and Grand Island. Thieves are stealing purses, change, mail, credit and debit cards, checkbooks, driver's licenses, and other personal or valuable items by breaking windows or entering through unlocked doors. Sheriff Timothy Howard is urging residents not to leave anything in their cars and eliminate the thieves' opportunity. Sheriff Howard is also reminding everyone to lock their vehicle as an extra measure of security, even if it is in a garage. If residents in see suspicious activity they are asked to immediately contact their local law enforcement agency, the Sheriff's number is 716.858.2903.

    April 23 - April 29, 2016

    Car Seat Safety Inspection - May 2016

       Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard announced the Sheriff Department will host a free car seat safety inspection at the Grand Island Town Hall on Saturday, May 7th., from 9:00 a.m. - noon. Certified car seat technicians from the Sheriff's Office will inspect the seat for structural defects and proper installation, and offer installation instructions for car seats designed for various age groups.
        In addition to the car seat inspections, representatives from the sheriff's office will be offering free Operation Safe Child ID cards. These identification cards contain the child's name, biographical information and a fingerprint image of both index fingers. This information is stored with the Division of Criminal Justice Services in Albany and in the event of a missing child report the victim's information can be quickly shared with police agencies.

    April 16 - April 22, 2016

    Sheriff's Office Prescription Drop-Off - April 2016

       Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard announces that the Erie County Sheriff's Office will be participating in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This year's event will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, Grand Island Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Rd, or Town of Hamburg Recreation Department where the sheriff's office is hosting drop off locations and Sheriff Howard reminds individuals that collection points cannot accept liquids, needles, or sharps, only pills or patches. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
       Last September, Americans turned in 350 tons (over 702,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,000 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners. In 2015, the Erie County Sheriff's Office collected about 19,000 pounds of drugs and nearly 11,000 pounds of syringes at its eighteen drop off locations throughout Erie County.
       This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines-flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash-both pose potential safety and health hazards.

    April 9 - April 15, 2016

    Operation Safe Stop - April 2016

    Click photo for larger view.
    Front row, from left: bus drivers Kathy Jackson, Jackie Steckelberg, Amy VeRost & Denise McMahon.
    Back row, from left: Sheriff Chris Soluri, Trooper John Betker, Sheriff Ricky Lundberg, Transportation Supervisor Theresa Alizadeh, mechanic Tim Blevins, head bus driver Kelly Lesinski, mechanic Rick Staub, Town Police Officer Tom Franz and Sheriff Cully Ferrick.

       Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard announces Deputies will be taking part in Operation Safe Stop Thursday, April, 21. The sheriff's office will have eighteen marked and unmarked vehicles patrolling selected bus routes that have a history of illegal passing complaints within the sheriff's primary patrol districts. In addition to the primary patrol districts, the sheriff's office will have roving patrols throughout the county.
       Operation Safe Stop's statewide enforcement against passing stopped school buses will be conducted on April 21, with two details; 6-9 a.m. and 2-5 p.m. The Deputies will focus on the dangerous driving behavior of illegal passing stopped school buses which put our children at risk of injury and possible death and strict enforcement of vehicle and traffic laws protecting our children and school buses.
        The Sheriff's Office has participated in Operation Safe Stop Day since October 2003. Since the inception of this partnership, law enforcement agencies, the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, and the New York Association for Pupil Transportation have been active in coordinating this traffic safety initiative. The goal of Operation Safe Stop is to reduce fatalities and personal injuries of school children through the use of high visible enforcement with the goal of educating motorists of the laws against illegally passing stopped school buses. Penalties for passing a stopped school bus range from:
  • First conviction - fine of $250.00 - $400.00; up to 30 days in jail; 5 points
  • Second Conviction (within 3-years) fine of $600.00 - $750.00; up to 180 days in jail;
  • Third or subsequent conviction (within 3-years) $750.00 - $1000.00; up to 180 days in jail
        In the past four years, thirty-five students were hit by motorists passing stopped school buses in New York and the New York Governor's Traffic Safety Committee estimates 50,000 motor vehicles illegally pass school buses every day.
       Grand Island also had officers from the NYS State Troopers and Town Police join in the patrolling of bus routes. Transportation Supervisor Theresa Alizadeh noted that bus routes on Baseline, Ransom, Staley, Whitehaven, Stony Point and Grand Island Blvd. are particularly notorious for illegal passing.

    April 2 - April 8, 2016

    DWI Arrest - April 2016

       April 10, 2:44 a.m.; Town of Grand Island - The sheriff's office received complaints of an intoxicated male at the McDonald's restaurant on Grand Island Boulevard, attempting to drive away with no rear wheel. Deputy Casey located the vehicle with the engine running and a male subject in the driver's seat. The vehicle was resting on the right rear brake rotor and a flat tire and lug nuts in the vehicle's trunk. When questioned by the Deputy, Jamie Kraft, 30 of Buffalo, admitted to consuming alcohol and he was administered standard field sobriety tests. After failing the first six tests the subject refused additional tests and Kraft was subsequently charged with Aggravated DWI with a BAC higher than .18%. The Deputy noted that scrape marks were observed throughout the parking lot and ended where the vehicle came to a stop.

    March 26 - April 1, 2016

    Two DWI Arrests Over Weekend - April 2016

       Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports two DWI arrests on Grand Island over the weekend.
        April 3, 1:56 a.m.; a traffic stop was performed on a vehicle that failed to stop at an intersection along Homeland Drive. While talking with the operator, Deputy Zamorek observed the individual appeared intoxicated. The operator, Justin Brock, 40 of Grand Island, refused to submit to a breath test and subsequently was arrested and charged with DWI, refusal to take a breath test, aggravated unlicensed operation and failing to stop. Brock was taken to the Erie County Holding Center and was held on $500.00 bail.
        April 3, 6:38 a.m.; Deputy Zamorek responded to an accident where a vehicle struck a fire hydrant at Park Lane and Ransom Road. The Deputy's investigation resulted in a DWI arrest. David Campuzano, 23 of Grand Island, was also charged with speeding, failing to keep right, unsafe lane change, and operating a vehicle without insurance. Campuzano was released on appearance tickets and is scheduled to be in Grand Island court on April 27.

    March 19 - March 25, 2016

    March 12 - March 18, 2016

    Marijuana Arrest - March 2016

       Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports the arrest of Armand Swanson, 19 of Buffalo, for marijuana possession after a traffic stop for failing to stop at a stop sign. On March 19, at approximately 11:20 p.m., Deputy Clark observed a vehicle failing to stop at the intersection of Schwegler and Love Roads. While Deputy Clark was talking to the driver, he detected a strong odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle. When asked about the marijuana odor, the operator stated he smoked marijuana before he drove the vehicle.
       Deputy Clark, assisted by Deputy Girdler, searched the vehicle and examined a container, which appeared to be normal, and discovered a false bottom. Inside the hidden compartment, Deputies discovered two plastic bags containing marijuana. Swanson was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and failing to stop at a stop sign. The defendant was released on an appearance ticket with a court date scheduled for March 30.

    March 5 - March 11, 2016

    February 27 - March 4, 2016

    DWI Arrest - March 2016

       March 9, 1:02 p.m.; Town of Grand Island - Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports deputies made a DWI arrest for violating Leandra's Law. Deputy Biegasiewicz performed a traffic stop on Grand Island Boulevard after he observed a vehicle driving on the shoulder of the roadway, crossing over the yellow line, and speeding. When the Deputy approached the vehicle, he observed a child on the back seat, not seated in a car seat, and alcohol in the cabin of the vehicle. After Deputy Biegasiewicz's investigation, Toh Bah, 57 of Buffalo, was arrested and charged with a felony count of Aggravated DWI (Leandra's Law), drinking alcohol in a vehicle on a roadway, no car seat for a passenger less than 4-years-old, speeding, and lane violations.

    Driving While Impaired Charge - March 2016

       March 3, 10:24 a.m.; Town of Grand Island - Sheriff's Office Drug Recognition Expert, Deputy Biegasiewicz, was patrolling Whitehaven Road when he initiated a traffic stop on a speeding vehicle. The DRE determined the operator, Ryan Kennedy - 19 of Grand Island, was driving while impaired by drugs. The subject was arrested and charged with DWI-drugs, speeding and unlawful possession of marijuana. Kennedy was issued appearance tickets and was released to a third party.

    February 20 - February 26, 2016

    February 13 - February 19, 2016

    February 6 - February 12, 2016

    January 30 - February 5, 2016

    January 23 - January 29, 2016

    Detectives Arrest Suspect in GI Burglary - January 2016

       Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports his office arrested New York State parolee Jared Sander, 38 of Grand Island, on four felony charges associated with a burglary of a Grand Island business on December 3, 2015. While patrolling in the area of Industrial Drive, Deputy Ferrick observed a window removed from a business. The Deputy and Detectives entered the premises and observed large holes in a wall which they suspected were used by a subject to gain access to the building. During the search of the building, it was discovered that a safe was emptied and other items were missing. In addition to the missing items, it was discovered the security system had been tampered with and made inoperable.
       Using evidence discovered at the scene, Detectives O'Hara and Hanna were able to identify a person of interest involved in the burglary and based on the Detectives' evidence obtained a search warrant for Sander's residence on Bedell Road. After the search of the subject's residence, Sander was arrested and charged with four separate felonies: burglary - 3rd degree, burglary - 2nd degree, grand larceny, and criminal mischief. Sander is currently housed at the Erie County Holding Center awaiting a court appearance in Grand Island Town Court on February 1. Detectives are investigating approximately ten other similar burglaries on Grand Island and Sander may face additional charges.

    January 16 - January 22, 2016

    Sheriff's Office Citizens' Academy - January 2016

       Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard announced today the release of the Erie County Sheriff's Office Citizens' Academy spring schedule. The academy will start March 8, at the Erie County Fire Training Academy at 3359 Broadway in Cheektowaga with some classes held at off-site locations. The nine-week program will cover multiple topics, units, and Erie County Sheriff's Office responsibilities and will end with a graduation ceremony with Citizens' Academy alumni. Many of the presentations will be live demonstrations of the various specialized units within the sheriff's office and include ride-a-longs with the Marine Unit, K9 demonstrations, and a live fire exercise performed by members of the Sheriff's SWAT team. The schedule and application can be found at www.erie.gov/sheriff or on the ECSO Facebook page. Applications are due February 12 and space is limited to 30 enrollees.

    January 9 - January 15, 2016

    January 2 - January 8, 2016

    December 26 - January 1, 2016

    Driver With Revoked License Stopped - January 2016

       Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports Dwayne Gamble, 52 of Grand Island, was arrested after a traffic stop on Whitehaven Road in the Town of Grand Island. At approximately 4:40 a.m. on January 2nd, Deputy Rogers initiated a traffic stop. During the course of his investigation, it was discovered that the operator's license was revoked for previous alcohol-related charges. Also revealed was the operator failed to have an interlock device installed in the vehicle, subsequently, Gamble was arrested and charged with operating a vehicle without an interlock device, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a motor vehicle and driving without a license. The defendant was in the custody of the Erie County Holding Center on $1000.00 bail and later released. Gamble is scheduled to appear in Grand Island Town Court on January 20.