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This Week in Stupid Crime

By Mike Hudson

Knock out game?

While a recent study has found Niagara Falls to be the 53rd most dangerous municipality in the entire United States, our fearless leaders at City Hall keep insisting the streets are safe.

Try telling that to the young couple who, while walking in the 400 block of Fourth Street one evening last week after purchasing a case of bottled water. The couple were set upon by two black males wearing - you guessed it - hoodies, police said. One of the men punched the male victim in the face, knocking him to the ground, and ordering his accomplice to “Get the girl.”

On his back and recovering from the blow, the man yelled for his girlfriend to run, which she did, in the direction of the 7-11 store on Niagara Street.

The accomplice, apparently in no mood to chase her down the snowy thoroughfare, then joined his partner in kicking the male victim while he was down.

At last, the victim struggled to his feet and ran to the 7-11 himself.

Police were called.

The case of bottled water was still where it had been dropped and the bad guys came away with nothing other than what satisfaction their sick minds derived from terrorizing two innocent people.


Grab and run

Around the same time over on Main Street, not too far from Mayor Paul Dyster’s Taj Mahal-like “Public Safety Building,” a woman walking to work at Key Bank lost her purse to an unidentified suspect wearing a black hoodie.

Fortunately, the victim had forgotten her wallet, so her cash and credit cards were safe at home. Unfortunately, the keys to three Key Bank locations in Niagara Falls were on a ring inside the purse.

The woman was not injured, thankfully.


Vehicle arson

Now here’s something you don’t see every day. And it’s complicated, so bear with us.

A North Avenue woman called police one day last week to report that someone tried to burn her car down. Her daughter’s friend was being dropped off at the house by her father for a play date.

Pulling up to the residence, both the father and the daughter noticed the victim’s car was ablaze. The daughter ran into the house breathless with the news and the victim ran out to her burning vehicle.

Someone had taken a winter glove, soaked it in gasoline, lit it up and stuffed it as far as possible into the gas tank.

It’s a wonder the neighborhood wasn’t treated to a Christmastime display of fireworks, but the burning glove was pulled out and disaster was averted.

The woman told cops she had no idea who would do such a thing and there are no suspects at this time, police said.


Target practice goes awry

It was around 2 o’clock in the afternoon, right before Christmas, when a 60-year-old 97th Street resident began hearing loud popping noises while sitting in his living room. He got up and noticed three holes in his picture window. A smaller panel window to one side had been completely shattered.

He looked out across the street and saw a hand emerge from a side door of the house across the street. In the hand was a pellet gun, and a couple more rounds were touched off in his direction.

WTF, the guy thought. He went outside and noticed a number of additional holes in the siding. He’d had enough. He went back in and called the cops.

The kid across the street said he hadn’t meant to shoot the guy’s house up, but had been practicing his marksmanship on an old box in the front yard. He’d repeatedly missed his mark, he said, and the damage was strictly unintentional and collateral in nature.

The cops weren’t buying it. The confiscated the pellet gun and charged the kid with criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.

One could ask where the kid’s parents were in all this, but why bother?


No fun on outing

A Michigan Avenue man told cops three guys he knew from high school called him out and said they should all go “hang out” together, remembering the bonhomie of their youthful days together.

He said OK, and boy was that ever a mistake.

They showed up in a van and he got in, thinking of all the fun pranks they pulled and the good times they had.

Wasn’t he surprised then when the two who weren’t driving set upon him and began choking him. Actually one choked him while the other rifled through his pockets, taking $250, the victim told police.

After robbing and terrorizing the poor sap, the miscreants told him to get out of the van and walk home, which he did. A witness told cops that, later on, one of the suspects bragged about “stealing weed” from the victim.

Police know the suspects’ names and addresses and are on the lookout for them as you read this. Hopefully, the victim will know better than to reunite with scumbags from his past in the future.


Drug deal gone bad?

Say it ain’t so! Not in the bucolic Niagara Falls so beloved of the

Dysters and Grandinettis and Toumas whose cheerleading and civic boosterism help guide us to ever higher planes of delusional good feeling.

A young lady got off a bus on Willow Avenue one morning last week, only to be accosted by a short black male wearing a hoodie and a ski mask. He called her by name and said she owed him a couple of hundred for crack.

She protested. He punched her and took her purse, removing $50 cash and a cheap cell phone. A vigilant cabbie from LaSalle Taxi happened to be driving by, saw the whole thing, and stopped to intervene.

This is what passes for social interaction in Niagara Falls, a town whose leaders bury their heads in the sand and pretend everything’s all right.

As the U.S. Census Bureau has repeatedly shown, most people with any sense in their heads at all can’t wait to get away soon enough.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Dec 31, 2013