Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announced that 25 year-old Gerald Mundell of Buffalo pleaded guilty, as charged, to an indictment charging him with two counts of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, one count of Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree and one count of Attempted Petit Larceny before State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns. These are the highest charges for which Mundell could have been convicted had he gone to trial.
The charges arose on April 17, 2013, when witnesses saw Mundell smash out the window of a car parked on Tracy Street in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood. Mundell then entered the car, and rummaged through the passenger compartment, looking for items of value. After immediately calling the Buffalo Police, witnesses followed Mundell to the Tops Supermarket Niagara Street location. When Police approached Mundell to investigate, he struck several officers in an attempt to flee. Ultimately, three police officers were required to overcome Mundell’s violent and profanity-laden resistance. Officers transported Mundell back to Tracy Street for a routine investigative identification by the witnesses; however, as they approached the scene of the crimes, Mundell thrashed around the back seat of the Police cruiser and kicked at the windows. Police opted not to conduct the identification out of concern that Mundell presented a physical threat to both officers and witnesses.
Following this arrest, Buffalo Police were contacted by the Erie Crime Analysis Center. By examining data on recent crime reports from throughout the city, the ECAC advised Police that Mundell was likely the perpetrator of an April 13, 2013 auto larceny on Cottage Street. Detective Tim Rooney interviewed the victims of that incident, and both victims positively identified Mundell as the individual who entered into their vehicle, stealing two credit cards, a coat, a purse, and other valuables. A portion of this incident was captured on City cameras mounted at the corner of Cottage and Maryland Streets.
Well-known to the Buffalo Police Department, Mundell is a prior felon, with convictions for robbery and narcotics possession, and is suspected of preying upon members of the gay community. DA Sedita stated: “The police did their job by professionally investigating the case. The District Attorney’s Office did our job by professionally prosecuting the case. We trust the court will impose a sentence that will protect the community from this societal menace.”
The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Ryan D. Haggerty of DA Sedita’s Felony Trial Bureau. Mundell faces up to 4 years in state prison when he is sentenced as a second felony offender on February 11, 2014 by Justice Burns.