Buffalo Man Indicted for Hotel Room Burglary

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A court room gavel. © BS Photos. Stock Photo.

by The Erie County District Attorney’s Office

BUFFALO, NY (PRESS RELEASE) – Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 34-year-old Robert M. Smith of Buffalo, formerly of North Tonawanda, was arraigned this morning before Acting State Supreme Court Justice Debra Givens on an indictment charging him with one count of Burglary in the First Degree (Class “B” violent felony) and two counts of Attempted Assault in the First Degree (Class “C” violent felonies).  

It is alleged that on December 12, 2021, at approximately 4:38 a.m., the victims witnessed the defendant banging his hands on their truck that was parked outside of their hotel room on Dingens Street in the Town of Cheektowaga. After being confronted by the victims, the defendant allegedly smashed several hotel windows. The victims, who did not know the defendant, blocked the doorway as the defendant allegedly attempted to stab them with a large piece of broken glass. The victims were eventually able to close and lock the hotel room door as the defendant attempted to gain entry while making threats.

It is further alleged that the defendant unlawfully entered the victims’ hotel room, with the intent to commit a crime, by breaking the window while armed with the broken glass and threatening the immediate use of the dangerous instrument. The victims barricaded themselves in the bathroom and called 911.

The defendant allegedly charged toward a responding Cheektowaga Police officer who attempted to de-escalated the situation. The defendant was subsequently tased by police then placed under arrest. The defendant was taken to ECMC to be treated for various cuts to his body that he sustained from allegedly breaking the hotel windows. 

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The defendant was transferred to Niagara County on an outstanding warrant. He was brought back to Erie County to be arraigned in Cheektowaga Town Court on February 11, 2022. He was initially arraigned before Cheektowaga Town Justice David Stevens on one count of Burglary in the Second Degree (Class “C” felony), two counts of Menacing in the Second Degree and one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree (Class “A” misdemeanors). He was released under supervision. A warrant was issued for his arrest after the defendant failed to appear for a bail hearing on March 21, 2022.

Smith also has two pending cases in the Town of Amherst. It is alleged that on March 8, 2022, at approximately 9:31 a.m., a police officer saw the defendant was driving southbound on Niagara Falls Boulevard while holding a cell phone in his hand. The officer allegedly initiated a traffic stop when the defendant made a right hand turn onto Sheridan Drive from the straight lane of traffic. The defendant is accused of driving without a license. He was arrested and taken into custody on an outstanding warrant from Amherst.

Smith was arraigned that day before Amherst Town Court Justice Geoffrey K. Klein on one count of Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the Third Degree (Class “A” misdemeanors) and three Vehicle & Traffic Law violations. He was released on his own recognizance as the charges are non-qualifying offenses for bail. He was scheduled to return on March 30, 2021.

It is alleged that on November 24, 2021, at approximately 9:35 p.m., police responded to a report of a person who stole a television from a store on Transit Road in the Town of Amherst. Police allegedly located the vehicle, matching the description provided by the witness, on North French Road and initiated a traffic stop. The stolen television was allegedly in plain view in the backseat of the vehicle. The defendant was given an appearance ticket to be arraigned on December 8, 2021. The defendant again failed to appear on January 19. 2022. A warrant was issued after the defendant failed to appear in Court for arraignment.

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Smith was arraigned before Judge Klein on one count of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree (Class “A” misdemeanor) on March 8, 2022. He was scheduled to return on March 30, 2021.

Smith is scheduled to return on Monday, July 18, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. He was remanded without bail.

If convicted of all charges, Smith faces a maximum of 25 years in prison.

DA Flynn commends the Cheektowaga Police Department and the Amherst Police Department for their work in these investigations.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Kevin R. Brown of the Felony Trials Bureau.

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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