Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III announced that 21 year-old Daniel Bernardi, 25 year-old Duane Dalton and 32 year-old Michael Rodriguez all of 36 Harvey Place, Buffalo, pleaded guilty as charged to Robbery in the First Degree and Burglary in the First Degree. These are the highest charges for which all three men could have been convicted had they gone to trial.
On September 27, 2013 at approximately 9:00 p.m. Monsignor David Lee of Our Lady of Charity Parish in Buffalo, formerly Saint Ambrose, called 911 to report that three men had broken into the rectory. They threatened the Monsignor with a knife and demanded money. After taking money from the church, as well as money and property belonging to Monsignor Lee, they tied him up and fled. Buffalo Police Officers Robert Mercurio, Paul Rudnicki and David Rachuna apprehended Daniel Bernardi and Michael Rodriguez within minutes of the 911 call on Altruria Street in Buffalo; Duane Dalton was arrested at his home on Harvey Place a few hours later. All three men confessed to their involvement in the crime. Detectives Tom Starkey and Louis Ruberto successfully investigated the matter.
This case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney’s Paul C. Parisi and Mara L. McCabe. All three men face a maximum prison term of 10-15 years when they are sentenced before Judge Sheila A. DiTullio on May 5, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.