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Erie County Sheriff's Dept. Report 2019


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September 7 - September 13, 2019




Free Car Seat Inspections - September 2019

Wednesday, September 18th, 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Grand Island Substation, 1856 Whitehaven Road.
   Buffalo, NY – Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard announces his office is participating in National Child Passenger Safety Week by hosting free car seat inspections at Sheriff’s substations. Car seats and boosters are one of the easiest ways to keep your child safe and, when installed correctly, car seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury in a crash by 71% for infants and by 54% for toddlers. Unfortunately, many parents install their child seats incorrectly. Among children under 5, an estimated 325 lives were saved in 2017 alone because they were properly buckled, but an additional 46 children could have been saved if every child was properly buckled. Certified car seat technicians from the Erie County Sheriff’s Office will provide free inspections and installations of child seats for parents and guardians.



August 31 - September 6, 2019



August 24 - August 30, 2019



August 17 - August 23, 2019



August 10 - August 16, 2019



August 3 - August 9, 2019



July 27- August 2, 2019



July 20 - July 26, 2019



July 13 - July 19, 2019




Exterminator Exposes Himself to Customer - July 2019

   Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports a man exposing his penis to a customer in Grand Island has been arrested on multiple exposure charges. On July 20, The Sheriff’s Office was contacted by a victim’s husband about an incident where an employee of an exterminating company exposed his penis to the victim. A video, which was captured with a doorbell system, shows 28-year-old Eliezer Ortizapeita of Buffalo removing his private parts from his pants and exposing himself to the victim.
   The case was turned over the Detectives with the Sheriff’s Investigative Services unit, and on July 25, the subject was arrested. Ortizapeita is charged with a misdemeanor count of public lewdness – exposing private parts, and violations for disorderly conduct and exposure of a person. The defendant is released on appearance tickets for a future court appearance in Grand Island Town Court. If there are additional victims, the Sheriff’s Office requests they contact Detectives at 858.2903.



July 6 - July 12, 2019



June 29 - July 5, 2019




Sheriff's Department Adds Patrols for Weekend - July 2019

   Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard announces he has authorized additional patrols for this weekend starting July 3 and going through July 7. The extra countywide patrols will be looking for impaired and intoxicated drivers as well as for distracted drivers. Funding for the added patrols is provided through Erie County STOP-DWI.



June 22 - June 28, 2019



June 15 - June 21, 2019



June 8 - June 14, 2019



June 1 - June 7, 2019



May 25 - May 31, 2019



May 18 - May 24, 2019



May 11 - May 17, 2019



May 4 - May 10, 2019



April 27 - May 3, 2019



April 20 - April 26, 2019



April 13 - April 19, 2019



April 6 - April 12, 2019



March 30 - April 5, 2019




Increase in Phone Scamming Complaints - April 2019

   Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard is alerting the public that the Sheriff’s Office has received an increased amount of phone scamming complaints throughout the day. This round of complaints is County wide with some scammers falsely representing themselves as members of the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and other scammers leaving voice messages advising residents to call back immediately or they will be arrested. Some of the area codes used in this round of calls have been “716” + “410” + “718.”
    The Sheriff’s Office is NOT calling area residents requesting personal information - please hang up immediately if you receive this type of call – likewise - do not respond to the voicemails that threaten your arrest. An important reminder: never release any personal, bank, credit card information or agree to purchase any type of gift cards to satisfy these counterfeit phone threats.
    Do not hesitate to call the Sheriff’s Office (716-858-7618) or your local law enforcement agency with any questions.



March 16 - March 22, 2019



March 9 - March 15, 2019




GI Sheriff Goes Above and Beyond - March 2019


   From the Erie County Sheriff Facebook page, dated March 21, 2019: "This morning an Erie County Sheriff’s PBA Deputy responded to a call to check the welfare of an elderly Grand Island resident. Upon speaking with the resident the Deputy discovered the man had limited food in his home. The Deputy proceeded to take the man grocery shopping before unloading the groceries into the man’s home. Well done, Dep." The deputy is Grand Island resident Chris Soluri.



March 2 - March 8, 2019




Sheriff Warns of Phone Scam - March 2019

   Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard announces another phone scam is spreading across the area with caller posing as representatives from the Erie County Sheriff’s Office. Detectives have received reports that phone scammers are calling area residents trying to obtain personal information by various means and scenarios. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office is not calling area residents requesting personal information. If residents receive a call from 716.687.8427, they are urged to ignore the call and any voice message left on the device. As with many of these phone scams, The Sheriff’s Office strongly recommends individuals do not provide personal information and to just hang up.



February 23 - March 1, 2019



February 16 - February 22, 2019



February 9 - February 15, 2019




Cocaine & DWI Arrest - February 2019


   Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports Deputies arrested 27-year-old Vincent Ligammari of Youngstown on drug and DWI charges on February 15 in Grand Island.
    At approximately 7:14 a.m., Deputies responded to complaints of a suspicious vehicle at the Town Hall Terrace apartment complex. The Deputies observed a vehicle stationary in the parking lot with the engine running and the lights on. When the Deputies approached the vehicle, they observed an individual in the driver’s seat sleeping. Attempts to wake the operator failed, and the Deputies opened the door and woke up the subject.
   The Deputies requested the individual to produce identification, and he handed over credits cards, and after multiple attempts, the operator finally provided his driver’s license. The Deputies discovered the vehicle’s registration was suspended and Ligammari was searched. Two small bags of cocaine were discovered as well as an unopen can of beer.
   Ligammari was arrested and charged with felony counts of DWI-previous conviction and criminal possession of a controlled substance as well as a misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle with a suspended registration and a violation for operating a vehicle without insurance. The defendant was taken to the Erie County Holding Center pending his arraignment then later released.



February 2 - February 8, 2019



January 26 - February 1, 2019



January 19 - January 25, 2019




Man Arrested Near Scene of Fire - February 2019


   Buffalo, NY - Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports 33-year-old Robert Shoemaker of Grand Island was arrested last night following an investigation into a fire at a Grand Island apartment complex on Ransom Road.
   Deputies responded to a structure fire at approximately 9:55 P.M. on January 31. When the Deputies arrived, they observed heavy white smoke and an orange glow from an apartment building. The Deputies notified several residents to evacuate the complex and then returned to the building to check if all residents were accounted for and out of the structure.
   As Grand Island Fire Department was battling the fire, Deputies were contacted by witnesses and directed then to a subject believed to be involved with the incident and who was still on the complex’s premises. The Deputies took Shoemaker into custody and turned the investigation over to Detectives and the Sheriff’s Fire Investigation Unit. Detectives charged Shoemaker with a felony count of 2nd-degree arson, and the defendant was remanded to the Erie County Holding Center pending his arraignment in Grand Island Town Court on February 1. No injuries to the building’s residents were reported. The Grand Island Fire Department estimates the damages to be $100,000.



January 12 - January 18, 2019



January 5 - January 11, 2019




Crash Unit Investigating Fatal Crash - January 2019

   Buffalo, NY - A Passing Motorist Found the Vehicle off the Roadway.
   Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports the Sheriff’s Crash Investigation Unit is continuing an investigation into a single vehicle crash that occurred on January 15, around 8:00 P.M. on East River Road in Grand Island. Reports indicated a vehicle was off the roadway under the south Grand Island bridges, and the operator of the vehicle was unresponsive. District 1 Deputies arrived at the scene and waited for members of the Grand Island Fire Company to extricate the operator. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene upon extrication. The victim of the crash is identified as 48-year-old Joseph Berard of Grand Island. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.



December 29 - January 4, 2019