Man previously accused of shooting into occupied car now charged after police chase

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - A man who had previously taken a plea deal after being accused of firing a gun into an occupied car on Schuyler Street is now under arrest after leading police on a chase.

On March 15, 2011 at 9:20 p.m., Utica Police Officer Christopher Faniglula was in the area of Genesee Street and Oswego Street when he observed a vehicle in violation of the vehicle and traffic law.

He made a vehicle and traffic stop at Genesee Street and Hobart Street, and a rear seat passenger immediately exited the vehicle.

Officer Faniglula recognized this person to be Kwamae Smith, 21, of Utica, for who there was several open warrants.

Smith began to flee on foot and Officer Faniglula gave chase but quickly lost sight of Smith.

During this foot pursuit, Utica Police dispatchers were directing responding officers of the location, and Utica Fire Fighter/Dispatcher William Thibault assisted the Police dispatchers by using the Pole Camera system to find the exact location of Smith who was hiding behind a snow bank in the parking lot of Palermo's Pizza on Genesee Street.

When Officers Paul Paladino and Brian Bansner attempted to take Smith into custody, he fought the officers before they were finally able to handcuff him.

Smith is now charged with the four counts of resisting arrest, first-degree reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a loaded firearm, unlawful possession of marijuana, and two counts of second-degree harassment.

On February 14, he was supposed to go to trial for attempted murder, accused of firing rounds from a handgun into a parked and occupied car on Schuyler Street in Utica on May 27. However, at the very last minute before his trial started, Smith took a plea offer to reckless endangerment. He was scheduled to be sentenced March 28.

The Oneida County District Attorney's Office said that Smith had posted bail before February 14, explaining why he was out of custody Wednesday night during the traffic stop.

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