Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

July 26, 2012

Lockport woman takes plea in knife assault

BY JOE OLENICK, joe.olenick@lockportjournal.com
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

A city woman could be facing state prison time after taking a plea deal Thursday for assaulting a man last month with a knife. 

Joyce A. Schwarz, 30, East Avenue, pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree assault, a class E felony, in Niagara County Court. Additional weapon and endangerment charges were dropped. According to a Lockport city police report, Schwarz cut the victim with a silver knife during an altercation on June 24.

County Judge Sara S. Farkas said Schwarz would be screened for mental health court treatment. Schwarz told the judge she has been dealing with depression, anxiety and bipolar disorders for some time without medication.

"About a month and a half," Schwarz said.

But if the screening falls through, Schwarz could be looking at one-and-a-third to four years in state prison. She also has a pending court case at the city court level.

Assistant District Attorney Lisa M. Baehre said police have been called in the past to deal with skirmishes between Schwarz and the victim. Schwarz will return to court on Sept. 27.

In two other cases before Farkas on Thursday, both men were accepted in the court's judicial drug diversion program.

To be accepted, Daniel S. Solomon, 23, Pine Street, agreed to plead guilty to second-degree forgery, a class D felony and pay $100 in restitution to Rite Aid.

In a Lockport Police report, Solomon was arrested in May after officers spoke with a pharmacist at Rite Aid on South Transit Street. The pharmacist said Solomon had brought in a prescription for a 20 count order of Soma with the “no refills” box on it checked off. But near that, there was a “2” checked off in the refill box. Another Rite Aid pharmacy in the city contacted the pharmacist about Solomon, who allegedly tried to pass an altered prescription but was turned away. The pharmacy then contacted Eastern Niagara Hospital, Lockport and discovered Solomon had been prescribed a 10 count order of Soma with no refills.

At Thursday's court appearance, Solomon admitted to an addiction of heroin and alcohol. If he succeeds in the diversion program, Farkas said she would allow Solomon to forego the plea and instead plead guilty to third-degree forgery, a class A misdemeanor. The maximum sentence there would be three years of probation. Otherwise, Solomon would serve two-and-a-third to seven years in state prison.

Solomon is due back in court Jan. 31.

In the other case, David J. Randolph, 33, Gasport, pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary in order to enter diversion. Randolph admitted to entering Walgreens on North Transit Street in April with intention to commit a crime.

Randolph could face two-and-a-third to seven years in state prison if he fails the diversion program. If successful, he can plead guilty to second-degree criminal trespassing, an A misdemeanor. That charge would come with a maximum sentence of three years probation.

Randolph is due back in court Jan. 31.

In a case before County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III, Scott D. Boci, 47, East Avenue, was sentenced to five years of probation for felony driving while intoxicated. Boci will also lose his license for a year.

Boci was arrested in December and his blood alcohol content registered a .27 percent, more than three times the legal limit. He pleaded guilty to the charge in May.