On October 12, 2017, at about 1:00 AM, City of Dunkirk Police arrested a Fredonia man on a series of charges following an investigation of suspicious activity involving a vehicle. A Dunkirk Police Officer stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation after observing suspicious activity in a known drug area. Subsequent investigation by Dunkirk Police lead to the seizure of more than an eighth of an ounce of high purity cocaine powder, several rocks of crack cocaine, a digital drug scale and assorted packaging materials as well as several hundred dollars in cash. John D. Dewey, age 21, who was found to be in possession of the cocaine and paraphernalia was taken to Dunkirk Police Headquarters where he is being held without bail on charges of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 4th Degree (more than 1/8th ounce), Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 3rd Degree (Intent To Sell), Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th Degree (Crack Cocaine), and 2 counts of Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia (Scale and Packaging Materials).
A Dunkirk man is behind bars in the Dunkirk City Lockup on a wide array of charges after an incident overnight in the City’s First Ward area. The incident began at around 11:30 PM when a City of Dunkirk Patrol Officer stopped a vehicle on Lake Shore Dr. East near Armadillo St. for a traffic violation. The incident escalated when the officer discovered that a man wanted on several outstanding felony warrants for robbery was attempting to hide under a blanket in the back seat of the vehicle. The officer called for back-up and as officers arrived on scene, the man, identified as Walter S. Duprey, age 33, of Dunkirk, NY, crawled into the front passenger seat, locked the door and told the female driver to take off. Officers were able to get the driver to shut off the engine and got the keys from her, but as Duprey was being removed from the vehicle he began struggling with officers and took off running into the yards. Dunkirk Officers, with assistance from the Village of Fredonia Police, SUNY Fredonia University Police and the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office responded to assist and a perimeter was set up to keep Duprey contained within the block. Officers then searched the back yards and flushed Duprey out. He again lead officers on a foot pursuit but was ultimately caught and subdued on Pangolin St. near the intersection of Pine St. He was taken to Dunkirk Police Headquarters where he was charged with the 2 Felony Robbery warrants from prior incidents and was additionally charged with one count of Obstructing Governmental Administration 2nd Degree, 2 counts of Resisting Arrest and one count of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th Degree which resulted from Duprey dropping a small bag of cocaine on the floor of the vehicle during the traffic stop. Duprey is being held without bail until his arraignment in Dunkirk City Court.
On October 6, 2017 at 6:41 A.M. the City of Dunkirk Police SRT team and the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at 632 Deer St. (upper apartment) in the City of Dunkirk. The search warrant had been issued by Dunkirk City
Court Judge Drag based on an investigation by the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force of the sales of crack cocaine from this address. The entry into the residence was made without incident and once inside officers located Ontario R. Eldridge, age 31, and Katelyn M. Smith, age 27, both of 632 Deer St, Upper Apt, Dunkirk. At the time of the entry the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force had an arrest warrant for Ontario Eldridge charging one count each of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd Degree and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd Degree. This warrant had also been issued by Judge Drag. The arrest warrant stems from a months long investigation by the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force and alleges the sale of crack cocaine from this location in the City of Dunkirk by Eldridge.
Once inside of the residence the search revealed a marijuana growing operation, packaging materials associated with the sale and distribution of crack cocaine, and a stolen handgun. As a result of the seizure of these items Eldridge is charged additionally with one count each of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 3rd Degree, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 4th Degree and Unlawfully Growing of Marijuana. Katelyn Smih was taken into custody and is charged with one count each of Unlawfully Growing Marijuana, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 4th Degree and Criminal Possession of Stolen property in the 4th Degree. Additional charges will be brought against this pair after other items seized are analyzed. Both of these subjects were arraigned before Judge Drag and then remanded to the Chautauqua County Jail pending further action of the court.
The Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force is comprised of investigators from the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Dunkirk Police Department. Authorities continue to ask members of the community to call when they observe suspicious or narcotics related activity within their neighborhoods. Calls can be made to either 800-344-8702 or 363-0313.
On Saturday September 30th the Children’s Safety Village held it’s first annual Gala at the Chautauqua Suites in Mayville. As part of the Gala the first ever Kevin Link award for excellence in Law Enforcement was announced.
The award is named in memory of Chautauqua County Sheriff Deputy Kevin Link who passed away unexpectedly on October 19, 2016. The Kevin Link award was developed to honor those who have served the Law Enforcement and Public Safety professions generously and unselfishly as demonstrated by dedication, loyalty, ability and integrity, qualities that embodied Deputy Link as he served with distinction throughout his career.
The 2017 Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement was given to Dunkirk Police K-9 Officer Matthew Hazelton who passed away on August 6th after a battle with ALS.
City of Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano spoke to the Gala attendees about Off. Hazelton’s highly respected career with the City’s Police Department and his achievements and dedication to his Family as well as his Police Department and the Community her served for over 14 years. The Chief talked about Officer Hazleton’s Dedication, Integrity, Honor, Respect and the legacy that he left the Department and his Family with.
The Chief presented the award to Officer Hazelton’s wife Jennifer and daughter Ava. Several members of Jennifer and Ava’s immediate family and their DPD family were in attendance to honor Officer Hazelton.
The Children’s Safety Village is doing wonderful things for our community. You can view their website at https://childrenssafetyvillage.com/.
Just a reminder that House Watch and Business Registry forms are now available to be filled out and submitted online. Visit the Forms Section of our website to fill out and submit these forms to save yourself a trip to Police Headquarters.
Summer vacation has ended and school will be starting September 5th for students. The City of Dunkirk Police Department is reminding everyone to pay close attention to children as they walk to and from school and to obey the laws regarding speed in school zones, walking in the roadway, riding bicycles and yielding the right of way to stopped school buses.
The speed limit in school zones is 15 MPH for all School areas except 20 MPH on Rt.#60 at School #3 and 25 MPH on Rt.#5 at School #7 from 7:00 AM until 3:30 PM any day that school is in session. The Police Department will have patrol officers checking the school zone areas for violations of the speed limit. Our priority in enforcing this law is for the safety of the children. As always voluntary compliance is very helpful but there will be strict enforcement and traffic summonses will be issued for the safety of the children. The few seconds it takes to slow down will not disrupt anyone’s day.
We want everyone to be aware and pay close attention to children who are walking to and from school, especially at intersections and crosswalks. A reminder to all motorists to please pay attention to and follow all directions of the school crossing guards and police officers who are at the intersections directing the children safely across the streets. Failure to stop as directed can result in the arrest of the vehicle operator.
A very strict warning to motorists that they must stop for school buses that have their red lights flashing. All vehicles on the highway operating in any direction on single lane or multiple lane highways must stop before their vehicle reaches the school bus when the bus has it’s red flashing lights in operation. The operators of vehicles cannot proceed past any such bus until the lights stop flashing or they are signaled by the bus driver or a police officer to safely proceed. Violations of this law will be strictly dealt with and the punishment can range from heavy fines to jail time or a combination of both. We take violations of this law very seriously. Throughout the school year we will have patrols checking on school bus operations to ensure safety.
Parents are urged to talk with their children about the dangers of them talking with or getting into a vehicle with any strangers or entering a house of a stranger. If approached by any stranger teach your children to run away, scream, yell and find a teacher, police officer, crossing guard or an adult they know and tell them what happened. If your child has a cell phone talk with them about being familiar with street names and calling 911 for help in an emergency.
Parents who drop their children off at the Middle School on Eagle Street are to drop off only on the West side (the same side as the School) as dropping off on the East side will put the children in danger crossing the road in front of traffic and trying to make a left turn into the loop causes traffic back up and safety issues as well. There is signage in place that prohibits the left turn into the bus loop. We will have patrols in the area to monitor this situation.
We are also issuing a reminder to everyone about walking in the roadway. This is very dangerous and if traffic is obstructed it is a violation of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law and also the Penal Law depending upon the situation. Anyone riding a bicycle is reminded that they must follow all the rules of the road as if they were a vehicle. We will have enforcement in all areas to maintain vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle safety.
Again we are urging parents to talk with their children about these safety issues. By spending a few extra minutes as drivers of vehicles or as parents talking with their children everyone can help make school a safe, enjoyable learning experience. The children of today hold the key to the future and we must take the extra precautions to protect them and keep them safe.
On behalf of the City of Dunkirk Police Department and the Dunkirk Police Benevolent Association (PBA) we want to express our most sincere gratitude for the outpouring of support we received when our beloved K-9 Officer Matthew Hazelton Passed away. We had two priorities during this very heartbreaking time for us. First was to do everything we could to comfort and help Matt’s wife Jennifer, daughter Ava and their family through this very difficult time for them. The Second was to honor Matthew with the respect and honor he earned and deserved for his dedicated service to our Community.
First and foremost we want to thank the Hazelton Family for allowing us to honor Matthew with the Active Line of Duty Police Officer Services that he absolutely earned and deserved. Jennifer is an amazing young lady and has wonderful support from her family. Our thoughts and prayers remain with them.
Law Enforcement is often a thankless service but throughout the very difficult week of Matthew’s funeral as we struggled with our loss we learned that our Brothers and Sisters in Law Enforcement and Fire Service as well as the residents and business people of our area Communities are the best any Police Department could ever ask for. The support we received from all of them was nothing short of amazing and that support continues to this day. We truly are blessed to have such caring Brothers and Sisters in the Police and Fire Service and we again are truly blessed to serve such wonderful and caring people of our Communities.
Police Officers from across the state turned out in hundreds for the Funeral Home and Church Services. The assistance provided by the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office with Planning, Patrols and the Fredonia Police Department for their Patrol Officers during the week was incredible. Special thanks to Deputy Jake Stahley and Retired Deputy Tina Holtz for their countless hours of support with the planning. The Jamestown Police Department sent their Honor Guard and Erie County Sheriff’s Office their Bagpiper. Every Police Department in our County and Officers from New York State Police, Cattaraugus, Erie and Niagara Counties, State and Federal Officers as well as Officers from many Cities, Counties, Towns and Villages from across the State arrived to show their respect for Matthew. K-9 Officers with their partners came from everywhere. Their presence and comforting words of respect for Matthew gave us strength as we struggled with our loss. The Dunkirk Joint Veterans Council provided the firing Squad and Brandon Katta played Taps for the Services.
The City of Dunkirk Fire Departments show of Respect during Matthew’s services was outstanding. The Dunkirk and Fredonia Fire Departments provided the Aerial Trucks to fly the flag at 4th/Central with the flag coming from Mayville Fire Dept. via Emergency Services Director Julius Leone. Sheridan Fire Department provided the bunting for Police Headquarters. Many other Fire Departments from our County sent representatives to pay their respects. The County Fire Police Team came with no questions asked to provide assistance with traffic control.
Just as amazing was the support we received from citizens and businesses from our area Communities. Countless numbers of people stopping to say they were sorry or drop off baked goods and food. Painted rocks and flowers left at the wreath in front of HQ were
Beautiful and Heart Wrenching. We received countless cards and letters of sympathy, some from places as far away as Indiana, North Carolina and Texas. Resident Steve Helwig offered us the use of his driveway to set up for the end of watch last call at the Church Services. One anonymous City resident gave a very large donation to help with costs to set up a permanent memorial for Matthew. These are just a few examples of the support we received.
Local businesses stepped up without hesitation and were honored to help us have the best of what we needed for Matthew’s Service. Many donated items for the Services and others helped with financial support for the expenses. Our many thanks to: Cody Britton from Southpaw Signs/Smith & Smith Trophies, Bruce & Ann Mulkin from Paper Factory, Nancy Persch from Copy Boy, Michael Zeigler from Pauls Limousine Service, Steve St.George from S. St.George Construction, Stacy Timmerman from Shorewood Country Club, Marcy Pakulski & Ray Navarro from Jamestown Plastics, Teft Glass, Seasonal Designs & Freay Funeral Home, Nicole Mason & Jamie Russell from Its Your Day, Chris Wichlacz from Emergency Services and the Brocton American Legion and Ladies Auxiliary.
We want to thank Mayor Wilfred Rosas, the City Administration, DPW, Many City Employees, Judge Walter Drag and Chief Court Clerk Jean Dill for their caring support.
Heartfelt thanks to Photographer Ben Kravitz for the amazing photos, video and framed pictures. Joey Conti for his assistance with the photo’s. Thanks to John and Harry Kowal from McGraw/Kowal for all their assistance with the Services. We want to thank our local Media WDOE and the Observer for covering the arrangements and services with dignity and respect.
A very special thanks to Father Dan Walsh from Holy Trinity Church for his guidance during a very difficult time and for the wonderful service for Matthew. And a special thanks also to the Wives of the Dunkirk Police Department Officers for their assistance with preparations for the services and for being the rocks that stood behind our Officers as we struggled with our loss.
Finally we want to commend all the men and women of the City of Dunkirk Police Department for working through a very difficult time in our Department History. The honor and respect shown to Matthew and his family was second to none. Although our hearts are broken and Matthew is gone from us he will never be forgotten. Dedication, Integrity, Honor and Respect are the words that describe K-9 Officer Matthew L. Hazelton. The legacy that he leaves us with will live on forever as he truly will be one of the best to ever walk the Halls of the Dunkirk Police Department and serve the citizens of our Truly Amazing Community. Rest in Peace our Dear Brother, we have it from here and please know that Jenn and Ava will forever be part of the DPD family. As a family we are and will always be DPD Strong !!!
David C. Ortolano Sgt. Mark N. Gruber
Chief of Police Dunkirk PBA President
The Dunkirk Police Department is currently investigating complaints of $20 US Currency bills being distributed in the area that are counterfeit. These bills contain Chinese writing (in red ink) on both sides. DO NOT ACCEPT ANY OF THESE BILLS. We are asking for the public’s assistance in locating any individuals involved. Please contact Police Headquarters with any information at (716) 366-2266.
On August 12, 2017, at about 5:30 PM, Officers were called to the area of the car wash behind Crosby Mart on Central Avenue for a vehicle lockout. After opening the door, a strong odor of marijuana was detected. With the assistance of Dunkirk Police K-9 Gunny, a subsequent investigation led to the arrest of Rafael R. Gonzalez-Rivera, 29, of Maple Avenue in Dunkirk, and Onix A. Lopez-Ortiz, 37, of W. Fourth Street in Dunkirk. Gonzalez-Rivera was found to be in possession of a quantity of heroin and cocaine, while Lopez-Ortiz was found to be in possession of marijuana, and prescription medication which was not properly packaged. Both men are being held pending arraignment in Dunkirk City Court.
CHARGES: (Lopez-Ortiz): Criminal Possession of a controlled substance in the 7th degree, Unlawful possession of marijuana, (Gonzalez-Rivera): 2 counts of Criminal Possession of a controlled substance in the 7th degree, 1 count of Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree with intent to sell.
On Thursday 8/10/2017, Central Avenue will be closed from Green Street to Waldorff Avenue from the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Funeral services for Dunkirk Police Officer Matthew Hazelton will take place during these hours. Suggested alternate routes are Brigham Road and Main Street. Please be respectful of all traffic control devices and workers. Thank you for your respect, cooperation and understanding during this time of remembrance.