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OCT 28- NOV 05, 2014

LaSalle Tire Slasher Now Has a Price on His Head

By Mike Hudson

October 28, 2014

What would possess a middle aged man to go around slashing the tires of complete strangers’ cars in the wee hours of the morning? Perhaps he’ll offer some insight once he’s brought to justice. If you know this man, call and earn a reward.
The vandal approaches the truck, walks to the back, and starts his destruction.

A $250 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a tire-slashing thug active in the city’s LaSalle district.

At around 4:20 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, the slasher was caught on videotape in the parking lot of Jaco’s Pizza, 7202 Buffalo Ave., putting dents in the rear side panel and puncturing two tires of a 2014 Ford F-350 truck belonging to Jaco’s owner Rob Nye.

The slasher, a white male who appears to be around 50 years old, can be seen taking a homemade device about two feet long from out of his jacket sleeve and using it to vandalize the truck.

“The detectives told me there has been other slashings in the LaSalle area and the Town of Niagara recently,” Nye told the Niagara Falls Reporter. “They think this guy may be responsible for all of them.”

Niagara Falls Police Chief Bryan DalPorto confirmed there have been reports of criminal mischief in the area, but it is not known whether it is the work of one individual.

"There was a couple in LaSalle but nothing I would characterize as a rash," DalPorto said. "We also had a few downtown. The detective bureau is investigating as to whether they may be the same person."

The pizza proprietor said he has given the videotape to Niagara Falls police, who are sharing it with colleagues from the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department, state police, the Town of Niagara police and other agencies.

Nye said the damage was covered by his insurance; he collected a check for $1,261 this week from General National Insurance. The two tires, he said, front and rear passenger tires, were two days old.

"They were brand new tires I just bought from Baldo Ford," Nye said. "They were destroyed. When I went to go home after leaving my restaurant at five in the morning, I couldn't drive the truck because it was tilted to one side because the tires were flat.... The Niagara Falls Police drove me home."

Unbeknownst perhaps to the tire thug, the lot is under video surveillance. It didn't take long for Nye to view the tape and pinpoint the hour and minute of the vandal's activities.

From the video one sees the tire slasher wearing a leather jacket, cowboy boots and a bandanna on his head. He goes about his work methodically.

“You can pretty much tell it’s not his first time at the rodeo,” Nye said.

The 28-second clip shows the man first appearing in front of the truck, then moving toward the back. He slips, from out of his sleeve, his stick with a blade at the end of it. He is seen banging the rear panel on the driver's side of the truck. He goes to the passenger side, where, mostly of view of the camera, he slashes two tires leaving a more than one inch wide gash. Within seconds, he emerges in front of the Ford and walks off.

Nye said he is posting the reward to try to bring the maniac to justice.

“Somebody’s got to know who this person is,” he said. “I’ve shown the picture to hundreds of people who have come into the restaurant but nobody has recognized him so far.”

Reporter Editor Frank Parlato said he hopes publication of the slasher’s photo - although it is grainy and dark - may help someone identify the miscreant.

"It’s a public service, and that’s what we’re here for,” he said. "Whether the man is mentally deranged, and criminally insane, or has some kind of perceived score to settle and is too much a coward to do it in the open, the sooner he is caught the better."

Chief DalPorto said that because of the dollar amount of damage he did to Nye's vehicle, the vandal would likely be charged with an E felony criminal mischief charge.

"Of course, if we can charge him for other incidents, then the charge might be greater," DalPorto said.

Lt. Mike Trane said detectives have a copy of the video and are investigating.

Look at the picture. Do you know this man? If so, call the Niagara Falls Police Department at 716-286-4711 or Rob Nye at 716-930-0101. You’ll be getting rid of a public nuisance and making $250 at the same time.





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Contact Info

©2014 The Niagara Falls Reporter Inc.
POB 3083, Niagara Falls, N.Y. 14304
Phone: (716) 284-5595

Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
Senior Editor: Tony Farina