Suspect Indicted for Assaulting Police and Obtaining Possession of the Officer's Gun During Attempted Arrest

Modified: November 30, 2020 1:03pm

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 49-year-old Joel P. Anzalone of Buffalo was virtually arraigned this morning before Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio on an indictment charging him with the following offenses:

  • One count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a Class “C” felony
  • Two counts of Assault in the Second Degree, Class “D” felonies
  • One count of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree, a Class “E” felony

It is alleged that on September 16, 2020, at approximately 2:30 p.m., detectives from the Town of Hamburg Police Department went to a department store on Delaware Avenue in the City of Buffalo to obtain surveillance video as part of an investigation involving a stolen vehicle that was taken from McKinley Plaza the previous day. The suspect allegedly used a credit card belonging to the victim in the stolen vehicle case.

While the detectives were at the store, the defendant allegedly returned. It is alleged that the detectives confronted the defendant in the parking lot to arrest him, and the defendant refused the officer’s orders to turn off the vehicle. The defendant is accused of driving away while the detectives held onto the vehicle. Both suffered physical injuries as a result.

It is further alleged that one of the detectives was partially inside the vehicle as the defendant drove away. The detective was able to free himself from the vehicle, but his weapon and holster were reported missing after the incident. The gun has since been recovered.

Anzalone is scheduled to return on Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. for further proceedings. He remains held on $100,000 bail set in Buffalo City Court.

DA Flynn commends the Town of Hamburg Police Department, the Buffalo Police Department, and the New York State Police for their work in the investigation.  

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Matthew S. Szalkowski of the DA’s Felony Trials Bureau.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.