LOCKPORT — Two Niagara Falls man pleaded not guilty in State Supreme Court Wednesday to robbery charges for an Aug. 23 carjacking and subsequent police chase in the stolen car.

Matteo L. Johnson, 20, Haeberle Avenue, and Myquan R. Pringle, 26, 23rd Street, allegedly stole a vehicle at gunpoint near the Seneca Niagara Casino and fled from responding Niagara Falls police. The chase ended when Johnson struck another vehicle on Hyde Park Boulevard, crashed through a fence and came to a stop in a residential backyard, according to Assistant District Attorney Doreen Hoffman. Both Johnson and the other motorist were injured in the crash.

Pringle fled the vehicle on foot and managed to escape. He was apprehended by Falls police Oct. 8, less than two weeks after Crime Stoppers Buffalo posted a $2,500 reward for information leading to his arrest.

Falls police found Johnson in the stolen car with a broken leg and a handgun and and took him into custody.

Both Johnson and Pringle were arraigned on two counts of first-degree robbery and one count of second-degree robbery. Johnson was also arraigned on second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, reckless driving and unlawfully fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle.

At the time of the alleged robbery, Pringle was out on bail for a Sept. 28, 2017 conviction of attempted second-degree burglary. Pringle began serving a two-year prison sentence in January 2018 and was paroled Feb. 21.

In that case, Pringle allegedly fled from Youngstown police after a Feb. 17, 2017 traffic stop on Lockport Street. The police officer recognized Pringle and knew he had an active arrest warrant for second-degree robbery in the Falls.

Pringle, who was armed with a hatchet, broke into a nearby apartment building, prompting the Niagara Sheriff's Office Emergency Response Team to set up a perimeter and search the building.

Pringle was found in a unit with three people who lived there and was taken into custody without incident. 

Recommended for you