BUFFALO, NY (Erie County Press Release) – Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 30-year-old Dominique D. Thomas of Buffalo was arraigned this morning before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case on four counts of Menacing a Police Officer or Peace Officer (Class “D” felonies).
It is alleged that on Monday, March 14, 2022, at approximately 4:36 a.m., four Buffalo Police officers responded to an apartment building on the 1900 block of Hertel Avenue near Shoshone Street. The defendant had allegedly called 911, stating that someone was threatening to kill him. When the officers entered the building, they encountered the defendant, who was holding a large knife, in the stairwell.
The defendant is accused of intentionally placing the officers in reasonable fear of physical injury or death by displaying the knife and refusing multiple orders by police to drop the weapon. The officers allegedly backed out of the building and moved into the street in an attempt to de-escalate the situation as they spoke with the defendant who continued to approach with the deadly weapon. When the defendant allegedly ran toward the officers with the knife in hand, he was subsequently shot multiple times by the two of the police officers.
The defendant was taken by ambulance to ECMC where he continues to receive treatment for multiple injuries. The police officers were not injured during the incident.
Following the defendant’s initial arraignment in Buffalo City Court, forensic examinations completed by two doctors found that the defendant is competent to proceed. Today, defense counsel requested another psychiatric evaluation. Judge Case granted the request for an additional forensic examination.
Thomas is scheduled to return on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. for a pre-trial conference. He continues to remain held without bail.
If convicted of all charges, Thomas faces a maximum sentence of 7 years in prison.
District Attorney Flynn previously announced that a thorough review of the incident by his office found that the actions of the officers were justified. The two Buffalo Police officers, who fired the shots that injured the defendant, have been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing.
Thomas also has a pending charge in a separate criminal matter. He was arraigned before Buffalo City Court Judge Carrie Phillips on one count of Menacing in the Third Degree (Class “B” misdemeanor. It is alleged that on August 4, 2020, at approximately 8:40 a.m., the defendant threatened to kill his doctor after being treated at ECMC. A warrant was issued for the defendant after he failed to appear for a previously scheduled arraignment. He is scheduled to return on Monday, May 9, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. for a pre-trial conference.