Tonawanda News — KENMORE — Police have made an arrest in the May 19 killing of Vincent James Cottone, the owner of Kenmore’s popular Malone’s Bar and Grill.
Antonio Martin-Brown, 19, of Buffalo, was arrested Friday morning and was arraigned for second-degree murder. He is being held at the Erie County Holding Center without bail, and is scheduled to appear in village court for a felony hearing next week.
Kenmore Police Chief Peter Breitnauer said authorities do not believe Martin-Brown was associated with the Delaware Avenue bar, but said the two were familiar with each other.
“They were not strangers,” he said.
When asked how the suspect and victim knew each other, Breitnauer said he “truly does not know for a fact.”
Breitnauer declined to comment on a possible motive for the crime, and said Kenmore police have not encountered Martin-Brown before the killing.
Joe Carriero, the owner of Marco’s Italian Deli located next to Malone’s, was close friends with Cottone. Carriero said he does not know Martin-Brown.
“We are all very confused over here,” he said. “This is a surprise ... we never saw him in the neighborhood, I never saw him at Jim’s bar when I went there to talk to him. We don’t know anything.”
The arrest was made after almost three weeks of investigative work by Kenmore police detectives, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office and Erie County Central Police Services Forensic Laboratory.
A long-time employee of Malone’s found Cottone, 62, dead in his Landers Road home on the morning of May 19 after he didn’t show up for a work meeting. Police have released little information about the crime, but said Cottone died from blunt force injuries and that a gun wasn’t used in the assault.
During an interview with a News reporter in February, Cottone, who purchased the bar last summer, characterized himself as a businessman who always dreamed of owning a restaurant.
Carriero said Cottone was working very hard at improving Malone’s, despite a number of recent problems that plagued the bar — including an electrical fire and a burglary within the last few months.
“He was busting his butt to make this place the way he wanted it to be,” he said. “He had a vision for it. No matter what happened, he wasn’t stopping.”Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000 ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter at @JessicaLBagley