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Buffalo man pleads guilty for creating social media post to encourage looting at Walden Galleria


Thu, Apr 20th 2023 07:45 pm

Submitted by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announced 30-year-old Dino A. Bruscia of Buffalo pleaded guilty this morning before Cheektowaga Town Court Justice John Wanat to one count of inciting to riot and one count of criminal impersonation in the second degree (class “A” misdemeanors). The defendant pleaded guilty to the highest charge in two separate criminal cases.

On May 31, 2020, the defendant created an event on Facebook to urge people to engage in tumultuous and violent conduct likely to create public alarm. The defendant’s post encouraged people to assemble and loot the Walden Galleria in the Town of Cheektowaga.

On March 6, 2022, Cheektowaga Police officers initiated a traffic stop on Walden Avenue and Euclid Avenue after witnessing the defendant drive a vehicle with a broken windshield. When stopped by police, the defendant impersonated another individual by giving the officer a false name and producing a driver’s license that belonged to another person. The defendant had a suspended driver’s license at the time of the incident.

Bruscia faces a maximum of two years in jail when he is sentenced on Thursday, June 15. He was held without bail pending sentence.

Flynn commends the Cheektowaga Police Department, including Det. John Skonecki and Cheektowaga Police Department Terry Griffin, for their work in these investigations.

The cases were prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Stephen C. Papia and Assistant District Attorney Caitlyn G. Burns of the justice courts bureau.

Earlier this month, Bruscia pleaded guilty, as charged, before State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller to one count of arson in the third degree (class “C” felony).

On Dec. 22, 2019, at approximately 5 a.m., the defendant, with the intent to cause damage, fired a flare gun at a house on Arcadian Drive in the Town of Amherst. The arson caused damage to the dining room of the home.

Bruscia faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison when he is sentenced as a second felony offender before State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller on Friday, June 9.

The arson case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Nicholas C. Bussi of the felony trials bureau and Assistant District Attorney Rachel Kranitz McPhee of the special victims/domestic violence bureau.

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