Buffalo Mayor’s Warning: People Making Threats Will Be Found, Arrested And Prosecuted
In that order! Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown let it be known that people who continue to terrorize our community by making threats will face criminal charges and prosecution. After the mass shooting at Tops on Jefferson Avenue, there have been reports of threats posted online, as well as being directed at local businesses and organizations.
I spoke with the Mayor on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, and asked him what his message is for those who perpetuate hate and fearmonger by making threats to a city that's already on edge. He said it's wrong for people to revictimize people and warned that they will have to deal with the repercussions of their actions,
Law enforcement at every level, federal, state, Buffalo police, Erie County sheriffs are following up on every social media threat, every telephone threat. Already in the last two days, two people have been arrested for making those threats. District Attorney John Flynn and U.S. Attorney Trini Ross made it quite clear that people making those threats will be found, they will be arrested, and they will be prosecuted.
A busy pizza restaurant in Buffalo was forced to close its doors after a shooting threat was allegedly made. An alarming statement was made claiming that the suspect was going to shoot up the pizza spot like the Tops Friendly Market on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo. Buffalo Police say that a 52-year-old man was arrested for calling the threat into Bocce Club Pizza on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. Joseph Chowaniec, who was apparently complaining about a pizza he was unsatisfied with, allegedly threatened to,
shoot up Bocce’s like the Tops on Jefferson
He also allegedly was allegedly menacing Southern Tier Brewing Company on Scott Street.
The Sam's Club on Union was also forced to close early due to a threat.
He also put anyone planning to carry out a hate crime in Buffalo on notice,
"Buffalo is in the eyes of the nation and internationally, as well. Law enforcement at every level, federal, state, local, is working in a united fashion to prevent any repeat of what happened this past Sunday. This racially motivated, horrible attack on 13 people, injuring three, killing ten, a desire to kill more people in the community. Law enforcement is prepared to try to stop any kind of attempt to repeat an attack on this community. A couple of days ago, I had the opportunity to speak to the national director of the FBI, Director Ray, and he said that all of the resources of the FBI are being used to investigate this situation and any other need where someone is trying to threaten an attack on this community. We are a strong community. We're the city of good neighbors. This is a loving community of people of a lot of different backgrounds in the city of Buffalo. Over 76 different languages spoken in our Buffalo public schools. We want to keep our children safe. We want to keep our families safe, our neighborhoods, our business districts, and places of worship and that will be a strong and collaborative focus of law enforcement going forward in this community."
The Mayor spoke with President Joe Biden, who visited Buffalo to console the victims' families. Mayor Brown said that they discussed ways to prevent these horrible attacks, which are happening all over the United States, from happening again and again.
"I did speak to President Biden. He called out white supremacy, the evil of that that should be condemned by people of all backgrounds. He called out this 'replacement theory' that people of color are replacing white people. It is a false theory that some right-wing pundits, and some right-wing TV and radio personalities have been pushing. He spoke to that being false and that that should not be something that divides people of all backgrounds. He spoke about redoubling efforts on gun control. So critically important, guns are falling into the wrong hands. We have to stop that from happening. There has to be sensible, responsible gun control in this country. He talked about keeping guns out of the hands of people with mental health issues. Again, something critically important that has to happen. I saw a real sense of urgency in the President, a tremendous compassion in the President and the First Lady. To me, I think he was extremely serious about redoubling efforts on these issues and certainly to push nationally for responsible gun control."
The Mayor said that people who want to help the victim's of one of the deadliest mass shootings in New York State can make donations through Buffalo Niagara Partnership and the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.
You can listen to our full interview below.