Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

October 26, 2012

Assault in car leads to arrest

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — A City of Lockport man faces charges of robbery and false personation following an investigation into an incident that occurred late Wednesday in Wheatfield.

Thomas V. Fusco, 30, was arrested after the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department’s probe into an alleged armed robbery inside a car on Wheatfield-Pendleton Townline Road.

According to the sheriff’s department, Fusco displayed what appeared to be a handgun in the process of stealing cash from his victim, a Town of Lockport man.

According to a report from the sheriff’s office, the victim was phoned around 11 p.m. by an acquaintance who advised the victim that he was “at the reservation” and wanted to know if the victim needed cigarettes. The victim asked for four packs and told the acquaintance to stop at his girlfriend’s house, where he would pay him.

The acquaintance arrived about 15 minutes later and the victim walked out to the roadway, where the car was parked. He noticed a female passenger in the front seat and an unidentified passenger in the back seat.

The acquaintance, who was driving, asked him to get into the vehicle for his cigarettes because there was “a lot of traffic” in the road. The victim entered the vehicle and sat in a rear seat next to the unknown male. When the victim tried to pay the acquaintance for the cigarettes, the acquaintance instead pulled away from the residence.

At that point, the victim asked the driver what he was doing, but before he received an answer, the male next to him in the back seat, later identified as Fusco, pulled out what appeared to be a handgun and began pistol-whipping him in the head and demanded all of his money, threatening to kill him otherwise.

According to the report, the male was able to take the victim’s wallet from a rear pocket which contained $385 cash and some personal identification including his drivers license and benefit card for food stamps.

As the vehicle approached a stop sign, the victim told deputies that he jumped out while it was still moving and rolled to the side of the road. He said the car then sped off in an unknown direction, possibly towards Lockport where the driver lives.

Deputies located the suspect vehicle and pulled it over on Royal Parkway North in Lockport.

No one was hurt in the incident.

The false personation charge was a result of Fusco providing the wrong name when asked for his identification during the initial part of the investigation.

Fusco was arraigned in Cambria Town Court and remanded to the Niagara County Jail with his bail being set at $5,000.