Niagara Gazette


May 14, 2014

Sylvester jailed in shooting case

Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — A Falls drug dealer and gang member is back behind bars after his arraignment on charges stemming from a daring daylight shooting on Highland Avenue on April 17.

Joachim “Joe” Sylvester, 38, 1353 Ontario Ave., pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. The charges were contained in a grand jury indictment that was unsealed in Niagara County Court on Wednesday.

Sylvester's defense attorney, Angelo Musitano, had asked Niagara County Court Judge Matthew J. Murphy III to allow his client to remain free on $50,000 bail, that was posted after he was arraigned on lesser charges in the case in Niagara Falls City Court.

"He showed up here today," Musitano told Murphy. "I'd like you to continue him on the current bail."

But Deputy District Attorney Doreen Hoffmann protested, telling Murphy Sylvester faced much more serious charges as a result of the grand jury action.

Sylvester, who is no stranger to police, is accused of pulling up in a silver SUV in the 2700 block of Highland Avenue, at about 2:45 p.m., and shooting from his vehicle at another man. Witnesses told police Sylvester then got out of the SUV and continued to fire shots across Highland Avenue.

Hoffmann said, at mid-afternoon, the street was filled with innocent by-standers, including children.

"He had not a care in the world for those innocent people," Hoffmann said. "He poses a very significant threat to the community."

Sylvester is also the prime suspect in a shooting on Willow Avenue on April 15.

"He has a lengthy history of guns related arrests," Hoffman began. Then Murphy cut her off saying, "I know his history."

Looking directly at Sylvester, Murphy said, "You are remanded (held without bail)."

The Highland Avenue shooting was captured on video by a nearby store surveillance camera.

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