Tonawanda News — Six people are facing DWI and other charges following a Friday night police checkpoint on Seymour and Niagara streets that involved several police agencies.
While the Tonawanda City Police Department performs its own checkpoint sporadically throughout the year, the weekend initiative was organized by the Erie County STOP-DWI Program, which uses the money it receives from DWI arrests to fund future efforts throughout the county.
Tonawanda Lt. Fredric Foels said his department spent four hours stopping motorists on the Seymour Street Bridge. along with Town of Tonawanda police, the sheriff’s department and New York State Police.
Several times a year, Foels said, officers from the city travel to other areas of the region to assist police department through the county program.
“It just happened to be our turn,” Foels said, who added that 13 officers were involved on Friday.
Due in part to the number of officers available and additional funding, Foels said more drivers are scrutinized and every vehicle is checked, unlike some local efforts which tend to pull them over more randomly.
“It’s not just a hit or miss thing,” Foels said. “The key is every car is stopped. The county also likes our proximity to the the north towns.”
The following individuals were pulled over and charged between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. Friday:
• Sharon A. Lynch, 52, of Roesch Avenue, Buffalo, was charged with DWI and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Police found a bag with white powder in her purse, which tested positive for cocaine. Lynch refused to take a breath test and was held for court.
• Patrick. J. Butler, 23, of Richmond Avenue, Buffalo, was charged with DWI. He told police he was coming from the Seneca Niagara Casino, where he had about eight alcoholic beverages. Butler was found to have a blood alcohol content of 0.20 percent and was held for court.
• Jason P. Williiams, 38, of Lincoln Avenue, North Tonawanda, was charged with DWI and unlawful possession of marijuana. His blood alcohol content was 0.17 percent and he was held for court.
• Scott M. Pytel, 23, of Homemyer Road, Wheatfield, was charged with DWI and failure to obey a traffic device. His blood alcohol content was .14 percent and he was held for court.
• Michael D. Zendano, 51, of 19th Street, North Tonawanda, was charged with DWI after his blood alcohol content was discovered to be .08. He was held for court.
Tonawanda police said state troopers made a sixth DWI arrest, but information on the suspect wasn’t immediately available.