Major Jennifer Gottstine
Troop T Commander
West Seneca, NY – On October 19, 2020, just before 5:00 p.m., State Police received a BOLO (be on the look-out) for a wrong way driver traveling eastbound in the westbound lane on I-90, near the Lackawanna Tolls. The vehicle was described as a black Chevrolet Malibu and was observed by Troopers near mile marker 427.
State Police attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver intentionally tried striking the patrol car. The Trooper took evasive action to avoid a collision and the Malibu continued traveling eastbound in the westbound lane.
After quickly searching the area, Troopers observed the vehicle at the intersection of Walden and Bailey Avenues in the city of Buffalo. The driver failed to comply, and a pursuit was initiated. The driver entered the Rite Aid parking lot at the intersection of Genesee St and Pine Ridge Rd where the Town of Cheektowaga Police Department responded to assist. After patrols blocked the exit of the parking lot, the driver intentionally rammed a Cheektowaga patrol car and a State Police car before fleeing the parking lot.
The pursuit entered the Mount Cavalry Cemetery where the driver intentionally struck another State Police patrol car. The Trooper then made contact with the vehicle a second time, disabling it.
The driver, later identified as Justin G. Traylor, 47, of Youngstown, OH, struck the Trooper in the head while refusing to exit the vehicle. State Police and Town of Cheektowaga Police units were eventually able to take Traylor into custody without injury to any parties.
Traylor was transported to the Town of Cheektowaga Police Department for processing where he was charged with 2 counts of Attempted Assault with Intent to Cause Physical Injury to a Police Officer 2nd degree and 2 counts of Criminal Mischief 2nd degree; both Class D Felonies, as well as Unlawful Fleeing a Police Officer in a Motor Vehicle, Reckless Endangerment, Reckless Driving, and Resisting Arrest; all Misdemeanors.
Traylor was held overnight at the Town of Cheektowaga Police Department for a virtual arraignment to be held today, October 21, 2020.