Man who flashed knife at Buffalo protesters charged with hate crime

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 48-year-old Michael J. Cremen of Franklinville, N.Y. was arraigned this morning before State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller on an indictment charging him with one count of Menacing in the Second Degree as a Hate Crime (Class “E” felony) and one count of Harassment in the Second Degree (violation).

It is alleged that on Friday, August 28, 2020, at approximately 6:30 p.m., the defendant threatened protesters with a knife during a demonstration on Hertel Avenue near Parkside Avenue in the City of Buffalo. He is accused of pushing and threatening one protester. It is further alleged that the defendant used racial slurs during the incident.

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Cremen is scheduled to return on July 19 at 10:00 a.m. for a pre-trial conference. He has been released on his own recognizance.

DA Flynn commends the Buffalo Police Department for their work in the investigation. DA Flynn also acknowledges the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, and the U.S. Marshals Service for their work to locate the defendant who was sought on a bench warrant for three weeks after failing to appear for his initial arraignment in Buffalo City Court.


The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Matthew S. Szalkowski of the Tactical Prosecution Unit.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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