By Britney Milazzo
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
A Wrights Corners man the Niagara County Sheriff referred to as a “one man crime spree” pleaded not guilty Friday afternoon in Niagara County Court.
In the same arraignment on Friday, Niagara County Court Judge Matthew J. Murphy III was allowed to continue presiding in the case — without any objection from the defense — despite prosecuting the suspect in the past when Murphy was District Attorney.
David S. Matyjasik, 34, 6611 Ridge Road, was charged by Niagara County Sheriff’s deputies and Lockport police with five counts of third-degree burglary, three counts of petit larceny, two counts of third-degree grand larceny, third-degree possession of stolen property, resisting arrest, unlawfully fleeing an emergency vehicle, and several vehicle and traffic violations.
Assistant District Attorney Joe Scalzo said Matyjasik is accused of five burglaries in the Lockport area within 11 days at Image Collision, Yellow Goose, Reid’s Drive-In, Scapelliti’s Super Store and Boyer’s Tavern.
Matyjasik’s apprehension came April 19 when a report from the Sheriff’s Office said they received a 911 call from a passerby around 5:38 a.m. reporting suspicious activity around Boyer’s Tavern, 8757 Ridge Road, Gasport.
Deputies said they responded to Boyer’s Tavern where they encountered Matyjasik exiting the bar. A report said after a brief foot chase, Matyjasik entered a vehicle and fled from patrol.
The vehicle used to flee from police was allegedly stolen from Image Collision.
Deputies said they followed Matyjasik, and after a short vehicle pursuit, the suspect stopped the vehicle near 8005 Ridge Road where he fled on foot, again.
A perimeter was set around the area and approximately two hours later, a search of the area resulted in the apprehension of Matyjasik on Hartland Road, deputies said.
Lockport, Middleport and State police assisted in the pursuit, along with K-9 deputies Jim Hildreth and Joe Moll, and a bloodhound.
Matyjasik was taken into custody where he was transported to the Town of Newfane Court for arraignment in front of Judge Bruce Barnes, and later remanded to the Niagara County Jail. Matyjasik pleaded not guilty in Newfane.
In 2007, Murphy said he prosecuted a burglary case involving Matyjasik after he burglarized a church in Wrights Corners. A year later, Murphy said he was then the presiding judge in a Lockport assault case where Matyjasik injured a Lockport police officer during a parole violation warrant investigation.
But after being asked if they wanted Murphy to recuse himself from the case, both Matyjasik and his attorney Peter Pecoraro said they wanted Murphy to stay on the case.
The defendant is currently held in the Niagara County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bail.
Matyjasik is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Aug. 2 and a trial on Halloween.
Contact reporter Britney Milazzo at 439-9222, ext. 6251.