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MAR 31 - APR 07, 2015

This Week in Stupid Crime

By Mike Hudson

March 31, 2015

Shots fired here

It was a clear cut case of reckless disregard in the 1900 block of Whitney Avenue one night last week as city police received a rash of calls reporting that, once again, gunfire had erupted in the neighborhood once known as "Mafia Row."

At about 11 p.m., a young woman sat in her car at the corner of Whitney and 19th, talking with an old friend named "Ace," who was sitting in another vehicle, when she heard a gunshot. The rear window of her Buick Regal shattered and she hit the gas, racing home before calling the police to report the incident.

Officers responding to the call found the woman to have been fortunate indeed. As she had been leaning over to converse with her acquaintance, the bullet which shattered the windshield then passed completely through the driver's side headrest, where, had it not been for the chance meeting, her head would have been resting. As it was, the lead projectile embedded itself harmlessly in the driver's side door, police said.

There are no suspects in the case and an investigation is continuing.


Caught in the act

A bumbling burglar with more brass than brains very nearly got what was coming to him when he happened to meet his intended victim at the front door of her Third Street residence at about 3 o'clock one afternoon last week.

A neighbor told police she was helping the victim get some groceries into the house. As they stood on the front porch, they saw a dumb looking white guy with brown hair and a blue jacket on the other side of the door, inside the house.

The neighbor called the cops as the blundering bad guy beat a hasty retreat via a rear exit and down the alley.

When police arrived, the victim said her jewelry box had been rummaged through and that about $500 in various baubles had been taken. But the trained eye of an alert officer spotted a small blue bag, along with a carton of the woman's cigarettes, lying on a nearby couch.

The bag, it turned out, contained the jewelry, left behind by a flummoxed felon frightened by the woman and her friend.

The responding officer called in the city's crack Crime Scene Investigations unit and the cigarettes and other objects were dusted for prints.


Another auto burglary

Miss Janet Dunston's Dance Academy at 26th Street and Pine Avenue was the scene of a car break in and robbery one night last week.

It seems that a woman taking classes at the hoofer haven was in such a hurry to get her mojo working that she left her purse behind in what she thought to be the relative safety of her locked vehicle.

It's a sad story, and one we report on every week, simply because it occurs with such astonishing frequency every week.

When the woman returned to her car less than 90 minutes later, she found the passenger side window smashed and her purse gone. The purse, a custom made grey number done in a floral pattern, was valued at $100, while a matching grey wallet inside added another $50, police said. Then there was the three credit cards, the woman's driver's license and $85 in cash.

The break in was the second to occur in less than a month in the parking lot of Janet Dunston's Dance Academy, located at the corner of 26th and Pine.


Thief suffers chest pains

Tammy Lynn Kathke, 45, of 610 Fourth St., had a powerful yen for some hearty meat products last week, so she went over to Tops Friendly Markets on Fourth Street and attempted to steal a mess of spare ribs and a big boneless chuck roast, police said. Kathke stands five-foot-four and weighs 160 pounds and, you know, a girl's got to eat.

The Tops employee who watched her do it followed her past all points of purchase and then attempted to stop her. A brief struggle ensued before Kathke was subdued and police were called.

She was taken to the city's Main Street lockup for booking but, as she was being fingerprinted, Kathke began complaining of having chest pains. She said she had a history of heart trouble, which – given her meat heavy diet – comes as no surprise.

The ambulance arrived and she was taken to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.

Perhaps, the next time she goes shopping, Kathke will pick up some heart friendly turkey. And bring enough money to pay for it.



All George Brinson wanted was a little marijuana.


This takes the cake

A guy who police say cut an acquaintance with a knife during an attempted robbery was arrested after apologizing to his victim on Facebook, police said.

George Brinson, 548 22nd St., was charged with assault with a weapon and attempted robbery, police said.

According to the victim in the case, he picked Brinson up with the intention of buying some marijuana. Brinson, who was riding in the back seat, directed the victim to a 71st Street location, where they were to meet a third party, who supposedly had the drugs.

But no. Instead, Brinson pulled a knife and put it alongside the victim's neck.

"Give it up," he ordered.

A struggle ensued and the victim received several hand wounds. While he was being interviewed by city police at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, he received several Facebook messages from Brinson apologizing. The whole thing was just one big misunderstanding, Brinson implied.

After being told by the victim that the police were involved, Brinson phoned headquarters and offered to have them stop by his residence for an interview.

Brinson told cops he never meant to rob the victim at all or hurt him in any way. What happened was that the victim panicked when he saw Brinson's knife and was cut trying to take it away. Police arrested him anyway.

Facebook's original company motto, "Move fast and break things," seems curiously appropriate here.






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