City of Dunkirk Police concluded a robbery and assault investigation this morning with the arrest of Fernando Martinez Jr, age 37, of Dunkirk, NY. It is alleged that Martinez forcibly stole an undisclosed amount of cash from an individual in the afternoon hours of November 8th, 2017 and caused physical injury to that person in the course of the robbery. Martinez was taken into custody at his residence after being found to be hiding inside of a washing machine. Martinez is being held over night in City lock up and will be arraigned in City Court on charges of Robbery in the Second Degree and Assault in the Third Degree.
On Saturday January 13, 2018, around 5:49 PM, a DPD patrol officer observed a vehicle fail to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of W. 5th St and Swan St. A vehicle and traffic stop was conducted on Swan St near the intersection of W 6th St. The officer made contact with the operator of the vehicle who was identified as Jessie M. Melendez, age 32, Dunkirk, NY. At that time the officer observed a large quantity of high-quality marijuana packaged in large clear plastic bags that were in plain view on the rear floor of the vehicle. Subsequent investigation, Jessie M. Melendez, Jonathan R. Rodriguez, age 31, and Luis A. Sanchez, age 34, both of Dunkirk, NY were all charged with Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the Second Degree, a class D Felony. Melendez was additionally charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the Third Degree, Fail to stop at sign and unsafe tires. The seized marijuana had a total weight in excess of 4 pounds, with an approximate street value of $8,000. In addition to the marijuana, a significant amount of U.S. Currency was seized from the suspects.
Jessie Melendez was arraigned in Dunkirk City Court in front of Judge Kuzdale on Sunday January 14, 2018 and was ordered held without bail. Jonathan Rodriguez was arraigned and bail was set at $10,000 cash / $20,000 property. Luis Sanchez was arraigned and bail was set at $7,500 cash / $15,000 property. All 3 were transported to the Chautauqua County Jail after arraignment.
On Saturday December 24th 2017, at approximately 6:30 PM, City of Dunkirk police officers received a call for a reported shoplifting at Walgreens located at 327 Main St. The suspect allegedly stole property from the store and then ran out. After speaking with staff and reviewing security footage officers began canvassing the area for the suspect. Shortly later officers located a subject matching the description walking in the area of E 2nd St and Park Ave. After a brief investigation it was determined that the subject was the suspect from the shoplifting. After being advised he was under arrest the suspect, later identified as Wesley M. Priolette, took off running from officers. After a brief foot pursuit Priolette was subdued where he continued struggling with officers. Priolette was taken into custody and transported back to Dunkirk Police Headquarters where he was booked and locked up. Priolette was charged with Petit Larceny and Resisting Arrest.
On Sunday December 31st 2017, at approximately 8:45 PM, City of Dunkirk police officers responded to the area of Mary’s Deli, 525 Main St, for a reported head-on collision. Through investigation, it was determined that Juan G. Navarrete was operating a vehicle northbound on Main St. Navarrete crossed into the opposite lane and struck another vehicle which was traveling southbound. Dunkirk Fire responded to the scene and assessed several subjects. Navarrete was transported to Brooks Memorial Hospital for minor injuries. Further investigation revealed that Navarrete was intoxicated and that his license was currently suspended for an earlier driving while ability impaired conviction. Navarrete was charged with Driving While Intoxicated, AUO 1st (felony), failure to keep right and unlicensed operation. Dunkirk police officers were assisted on scene by Dunkirk Fire and NYSP.
On Monday January 1st 2018, at approximately 3:50 PM, City of Dunkirk police officers responded to the Brooks Memorial Hospital ER for a trespass complaint. Officers arrived and were advised by hospital staff that a subject in the waiting room was trespassing. They stated the subject refused to be admitted and refused to leave the property. Officers made contact with the subject who was identified as Gregory L. Gallaway. Officers advised Gallaway several times that if he was not seeking medical attention that he needed to leave the property. Gallaway continued to refuse officers commands and was placed into custody for Trespass.
Gallaway was transported back to Dunkirk Police Headquarters to be booked and locked up. At headquarters Gallaway refused to obey officers commands and began physically resisting and fighting with officers. At one point during this, Gallaway struck an officer with his fist. Gallaway was also found to have a controlled substance in his possession for which he did not have a prescription. Gallaway was charged with Trespass, Obstruction 2nd, Resisting Arrest, Harassment 2nd and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th.
The Dunkirk Police Department is investigating a shooting that occurred Monday morning, January 1st, 2018, at about 7:00 am in the 500 block of Columbus Ave. A city man is being treated in hospital for a gun shot wound believed not to be life threatening. Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to call the Dunkirk Police Department at 366-2266 or the confidential tip line at 363-0313.
On January 1, 2018, at about 5:00 AM, Dunkirk Police officers attempted to perform a traffic stop on Lincoln Ave for several traffic violations, but the driver, Trevon D. Tripp, age 20, of Dunkirk, NY, failed to comply and fled in the vehicle. After a short distance, officers observed Tripp exit the moving vehicle and flee on foot through back yards on Lincoln Ave between W. Talcott St. and Cliffstar Ct. The vehicle came to rest in a snow bank. A perimeter was established and with the assistance of K-9 Gunny, Tripp was located hiding in a backyard. Tripp again fled and with the assistance of a local resident, Tripp was taken into custody and found to be in possession of a loaded firearm. During the booking process, Tripp was in possession of a quantity of marijuana.
Tripp was charged with : Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (C/Felony), Resisting Arrest (A/M), Unlawful Possession of Marihuana (V), Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the Second Degree (U/M), Fail to Obey Police Officer, 6 counts of fail to stop at stop sign (infraction), Fail to Use Designated Lane, Speed not reasonable and prudent (infraction)
The City of Dunkirk Police Department assisted the Chautauqua County Office
for the Aging again this year with the Santa for Seniors Holiday Program.
City Officers delivered Holiday bags containing food and daily living items to Seniors around the City that are homebound. Officers delivered the bags and visited with the Seniors that were chosen to receive the gifts.
During Christmas and Holiday season people are often busy, excited and a little careless. Unfortunately it’s a time when they should be extra careful. This Season don’t let the spirit of giving lull you into giving burglars, pick-pockets, purse snatchers and con artists a better chance to do their dirty work. Crooks love the Holidays as much as everyone else.
Here are some tips on how to celebrate this season and make the Holidays a safe and happy time.
- Be extra careful about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even if only for a few minutes. Also lock garages and sheds.
- If expecting packages try and plan on having someone home to accept them, most shippers have tracking available to let you know a time frame. If possible request that the shipper only deliver if the items are signed for. Also you can leave a note on your door requesting that your item not be left unless someone is there to sign for it. Have you neighbors be aware as well to watch for deliveries and hold the items for you until you get home.
- Don’t display gifts where they can be seen from a window or door, leave only a few presents out and store the remainder.
- If out at night turn on a radio or TV so the house looks occupied.
- If you go away for a few days get an automatic timer for lights and TV. Have a neighbor watch your house, shovel snow, pick up mail and newspapers(or have them held until you return) and park their car in your driveway from time to time.
- Be wary of strangers coming to the door asking for donations, a courier delivering a gift or public utility workers asking to enter your house. Ask for ID, look for workers vehicles and if you don’t feel comfortable don’t open the door, call the Police Desk and we will send a car to check them out.
- Be wary of scam and con artists, be very careful who you give your personal information and bank account or credit card information to. Your bank will not call on the phone or come to the door asking this information. Ask for and check on references, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you feel you are being pressured or don’t understand. Remember if it sounds to good to be true it probably is.
- Check electronic items and mark them with a unique identification number.
- Use only fire resistant ornaments and check lights to make sure they are safe. Teach children not to play with lights and electrical connections and avoid overloading outlets and using extension cords. Remember to keep live trees watered and do not leave tree lights on overnight or when away from home.
- Test your smoke detector and if you have guests let them know about your security and escape plan in case of an emergency.
- Stay alert and be aware of what’s going on around you.
- Shop before dark if possible and coordinate with a friend or relative if you plan on being out late.
- Park in well lighted areas and be sure to lock car doors and close windows. Secure items in the trunk and have keys ready to enter your vehicle and check the interior before getting in. Once inside lock the doors and don’t open them or get back out. Use your car panic alarm if you are being followed or feel uncomfortable.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and deter pick pockets and purse snatchers by carrying your purse under the arm and keeping wallets in front pockets.
- Teach children to go to a store clerk or security guard if they become separated or lost. Teach them to stay close and avoid contact with strangers.
- Be careful with internet purchases, use reputable sites and secure payments such as pay-pal or a credit card. Avoid using a debit card on internet purchases.
- Check your Debit and Credit card account activity often to make sure it has not been compromised.
If you have celebrated a little too much at a Holiday party or out with family and friends and you can’t safely and responsibly operate your vehicle please don’t. Be a designated driver, find a designated driver or call a taxi. If you really care you won’t let your friends or loved ones operate a vehicle or get into a vehicle when you know that it can’t be done safely and responsibly. Please take the needed steps to avoid the senseless tragedies that occur on our highways as a result of drinking and driving or reckless operation. Also please make sure that everyone in the vehicle wears a seatbelt and children are in proper child safety restraints. It’s a proven fact that seatbelts and child safety seats save lives. Make sure you clear snow and ice from your vehicle, keep an emergency pack with items such as blankets and a flashlight in your car and plan extra time on trips to allow for changing road conditions.
Also we encourage anyone who sees or hears anything suspicious or out of the ordinary in their neighborhood to please call the Desk at 366-2266 when it is happening. We would much rather send a car to check the situation than to find out at a later time that something happened and we could have had immediate information. We also advise residents to not open their doors to anyone unless they know who it is, again please call 366-2266 or 911 and have a patrol car respond.
If you are leaving town for an extended period of time please fill out a house watch check form and we will check your house while you are away. Residents can get the forms at the Police Desk or on our Department website. Fill them out and return them to the Police Desk. You can also fill out the form online and submit it electronically.
Make time to get together with family and friends and think about reaching out and helping senior citizens or those who are less fortunate. Take a little time to make the Holidays a safe and happy time for everybody. On behalf of the Dunkirk Police Department please have a safe, happy and joyous Christmas, New Year and Holiday Season.
The Dunkirk Police Department again this year will be involved with the Police Department Reader Day Program. The program started at School # 7 on December 1st and will continue with one Elementary School each Month thru March. Police Officers will visit all the Elementary Schools and read books to the children. As part of this program the Officers also spent time with the children explaining the Job of a Police Officer and answering any questions the children may have. The children at School # 7 greeted the Officers with a bottle of water and a pack of Extra Gum because they wanted to thank us for going the Extra for them. They also prepared thank you cards for the Officers to take back to the Police Station and hang on the bulletin board.
This program has helped to build a positive relationship with the children and let’s them be familiar with Police Officers in a positive setting. The program will help to make children more comfortable with Police Officers and hopefully build positive relationships in the future as well.
We again want to thank the City of Dunkirk School District for working together with the Police Department on our programs in the Schools.