Niagara Gazette

January 10, 2013

Runaway driver arrested following search

Staff Reports
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — A Williamsville man drove away while a City of Tonawanda Lt. Joseph Scarpena was questioning him Sunday evening, pushing Scarpena to the road and sending him rolling across Twin Cities Highway.

Lt. Fredric Foels said Scarpena was watching a home in the City of Tonawanda when occupations left the house, got into a vehicle and drove away.

Scarpena pulled the vehicle over and Cody P. Little, 25, of South Forest Road, Williamsville, was driving.

Foels said Scarpena knew there was a felony warrant for burglary out for Little in Amherst.

"Scarpena told Little to turn the keys off and step out of the vehicle," Foels said. "Little refused."

Scarpena put his head into the vehicle and attempted to turn the car off when Little stepped on the gas and drove away.

"Our detective fell to the ground and rolled a few times," Foels said. "But he was not injured. We were very thankful for that." 

The incident took place at 8:30 p.m. Sunday.

Police immediately began a search for the 2004 Ford Little was driving, and alerted other local departments about the vehicle.

Foels said the Town of Tonawanda police department located the vehicle in a motel parking lot on Sheridan Drive, but Little was not present.

"The town was great and had everyone looking for the vehicle," Foels said. "We feel he ditched the car because he knew everyone was looking for it, and got a ride." 

The U.S. Marshall Service assisted in the search and located Little in an apartment on Oliver Street. He was arrested Thursday morning at 11 a.m.

Little was arraigned on three felony charges: attempted assault of a police officer with a deadly weapon, criminal possession of a weapon and menacing of a police officer. He was also charged with three misdemeanors: third-degree aggravated unlicensed of a vehicle, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon and resisting arrest. 

"The weapon according to the law is the vehicle he was driving," Foels said. "There are two counts because he had a previous conviction."

City of Tonawanda Judge Joseph J. Cassata set Little's bail at $50,000. He is set to be back in court on Tuesday for a felony hearing.

Little was previously arrested in the City of Tonawanda in December of 2009 on a warrant for second-degree obstructing government administration, third-degree criminal trespassing and criminal mischief and January of 2012 on a warrant for criminal mischief and driving a stolen vehicle.