DUNKIRK - Two Dunkirk residents are currently being held in the Chautauqua County Jail following a near-stabbing incident and separate factory fire on June 28 and July 1, respectively.
Arcadio Soto-Irizarry, 28, of 500 B14 Park Ave., Dunkirk, was charged with second-degree attempted assault and second-degree menacing at 5:30 p.m. on June 28 after a family visit went awry.
According to a police report, officers responded to the 500 block of Park Avenue for a reported stabbing. On arrival, police located a victim sitting in a parked car. The victim reported that he had gone to the area of 514 Park Ave. where his daughter and grandchildren reside.
When he saw his daughter outside, he stopped and asked to speak to her. At that time, Soto-Irizarry, the daughter's boyfriend, began challenging the victim to fight and started toward him with a large knife in his hand. The victim proceeded to run back to his car and get inside. Soto-Irizarry then ran after him yelling that he was going to kill him and began thrusting the knife at him through the car window. The victim reported that he struggled to get the knife away and sustained several small cuts during the altercation.
Dunkirk Police Officers interviewed the suspect at his residence, where he acknowledged being involved in an altercation. Officers were also able to recover the large stainless steel knife from the house. Soto-Irizarry was not immediately charged at the scene and officers continued with their investigation.
A warrant for Soto-Irizarry's arrest was issued on June 29. Police located the subject outside of his residence and took him into custody. He was arraigned and remanded to the Chautauqua County Jail in lieu of $15,000 cash bail or $30,000 property bond.
The second arrest occurred three days after the incident on Baker Avenue, when Luis A. Reyes, 32, of Dunkirk, was charged with third-degree burglary, fourth-degree arson, attempted petit larceny and possession of burglar's tools.
The Dunkirk Police Department and Dunkirk Fire Department responded to the now-vacant Altech Wire Mill on West Lucas Avenue for a report of a structure fire shortly before 7 p.m. on July 1. Upon arrival, firefighters found heavy smoke coming from the roof of the building and forced entry into the building. Once inside, they found a small room that had been filled with wire and ignited to burn the insulation off the wire. The fire was extinguished shortly after using a handline that was stretched into the building.
Meanwhile, Dunkirk Police officers set up a perimeter due to arson being the suspected cause of the fire. Reyes was located near the fire scene and after investigation, it is alleged that he entered the building unlawfully, filled an old shipping barrel with copper wire and ignited it to melt the insulation with the intention of selling the wire for scrap metal. However, the fire burned out of control causing significant damage to the interior of the room. When police located Reyes, he was also in possession of tools commonly used to commit these types of crimes.
Reyes was committed to the Chautauqua County Jail with no bail.
This incident marked the second time in seven days that both departments had responded to the Altech Wire Mill and the fourth time in the past year. Copper wire theft is common and the public is encouraged to contact their local law enforcement agency if they observe any suspicious activity.