Defendant Pleads Guilty to Criminal Solicitation for Attempting to Kill Victim

Modified: December 18, 2018 4:21pm

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 39-year-old Robbie Said of Buffalo pleaded guilty before State Supreme Court Justice Deborah A. Haendiges to one count of Criminal Solicitation in the Second Degree. The defendant pleaded guilty to the highest charge.

On August 8, 2017, the defendant assaulted a man on Benzinger Street in the City of Buffalo. The victim spent nearly two months at ECMC to be treated for skull, hip and jaw fractures. A warrant was issued for the defendant following the incident.

While on the run, the defendant assaulted his girlfriend in the Village of Depew on August 10, 2017. He then drove the victim and two other women against their will to the City of Buffalo. He continued to assault his girlfriend in the back of his van by choking her, kicking and stomping her with steel toed boots, and hitting her with a metal flashlight. After stopping at a 7-11 store, one of the women was able to hand a note to the clerk asking for help. An employee of 7-11called police and gave a description of the van, its license plate, and the direction that it went.  The van was located by police a few blocks away.

The victim, who was rendered unconscious by the attack, was treated at ECMC for numerous injuries to her head, face and body, including brain bleeds and fractures to her orbital bone and nose.

The defendant was arrested following the attack. He was held for the grand jury and then posted $100,000 bail.

On September 9, 2017, Buffalo Police responded to a reported hostage situation at the defendant’s home on Broadway. The two people being held were able to escape unharmed. The defendant was taken into custody by authorities after a three hour standoff where SWAT was called in. After the SWAT team’s attempts at negotiating went unanswered they fired tear gas canisters into the house which led to the defendant’s surrender. Police then obtained a search warrant and recovered a loaded and operable handgun.   

In April 2018, the defendant pleaded guilty to one count of Attempted Assault in the First Degree for the attack on August 8, 2017, to one count of Assault in the Second Degree for the attack on August 10, 2017, against his girlfriend, and to one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree for the gun found in the defendant’s home on September 9, 2017.

Before pleading guilty to the above charges, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office conducted an investigation into reports that the defendant was seeking to have a victim in one of the assault cases killed. This was confirmed through jail calls, testimony from the individuals the defendant had asked to carry out his plan, and other evidence.

The defendant, a second violent felony offender, faces a maximum of 16 years when he is sentenced on Friday, November 30 at 2 p.m. He has been remanded without bail since September 14, 2017.

DA Flynn commends the investigative work by numerous members of the Buffalo Police Department, including SOS Detective Cheryl Sanchez, SOS Detective Vatasha Tibbs, SOS Detective Molly Sanford, Officer Scott Becker, Officer Michael Parana, Lt. Jonathan Pietrzak, Officer Valerie Shropshire, Officer John Davidson, Officer Peter Miller, Officer Michael Anderson, Officer Patrick Baggott, Detective Robert Gonez, Detective Marlin Hall (now retired), Officer Anthony DiSarno, Officer Ashunti McClain, Detective Thomas Herbert, Officer Patrick Overdorf, Officer Neil Sullivan, Officer Padraic Allman, Officer Michael Scheu, Lt. Jason Whiteknight, Detective Henry Velez (now retired).

DA Flynn also commends Detective John Thomson and Det. Sgt. Don Panzarella of the Depew Police Department as well as Senior Chief Confidential Criminal Investigator Joe Riga of the Erie County District Attorney’s Office.

The cases were prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Holly P. Tucker, Chief of the DA’s Domestic Violence Bureau.