Lockport Police confirm that three teens who lived at the …
Updated: Tuesday, 16 Jun 2009, 11:31 AM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 09 Jun 2009, 6:55 AM EDT
LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) - 18-year-old Anthony Allen and 17-year-old Robert Thousand have been charged with murder, robbery and burglary. They are accused of killing 24-year-old Renee Greco who was working at the Wyndham Lawn for Children in Lockport.
Police said Greco was at Wyndham Lawn playing cards with residents when Allen and Thousand came in and beat her to death with objects they found in the basement of the home.
There were six to seven other teens that witnessed the incident. One of the residents called 911 and told a dispatcher that the boys hit the lady and took a van.
NFTA officers apprehended three suspects just a few short blocks away from the downtown bus station Tuesday morning. Lockport police interviewed the three teens but so far only two have been formally charged.
New Directions Youth & Family Services, Inc. at Wyndham Lawn Home for Children Chief Executive Officer James Coder released this statement:
“We are outraged and deeply saddened by the horrific and senseless act of violence which led to the death of our staff. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of this innocent, selfless victim.
I applaud the professionalism of the Lockport Police Department and other law enforcement personnel whose diligence has led to the apprehension of those youth responsible for this tragedy. We are working, and will continue to work with, law enforcement to ensure that the perpetrators are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Healing the sorrow felt by the victim’s family and friends, and by our staff and children will be a long and painful process. Justice will help us move toward that end.
While there is an active investigation currently in process, it is our intent to provide additional information as the circumstance of this tragic event are clarified.”
The victim, Renee Greco is originally from West Seneca. Her family moved to Texas but she stayed behind. She lived in Buffalo with a roommate.
New York State Office of Children and Family Services which licenses Avenue House and other youth facilities is launching an investigation of Monday night's tragedy and has suspended its license to operate, effective immediately.
The remaining residents have been moved to other facilities.
Statement by Senator Young regarding Wyndham Lawn murder
“The shocking and cold-blooded murder of innocent victim Renee Greco at Wyndham Lawn Home in Lockport begs the question whether this horrible crime could have been avoided had the two youths charged been placed in more supervised facility.
The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) Commissioner Gladys Carrion is systematically dismantling the juvenile justice system brick by brick. We need a full investigation into the residential and treatment classification of these murder suspects, and whether OCFS made these placement decisions.
Unfortunately, we seem to see a disturbing trend emerging regarding violent youth and residential services. Last February, Rochester Police Officer Anthony DiPonzio sustained a life-threatening and debilitating injury when he was shot in the back of his head by a juvenile who had run away from a private facility.
We need to determine whether these juveniles were appropriately placed at Wyndham Lawn. Obviously, they were in need of a higher level of treatment and supervision.
This year’s budget included a major upheaval of the juvenile justice system, and several state-operated youth facilities were closed, including the last two in Western New York at Great Valley and Cattaraugus-Limestone. These shuttered state facilities featured heavier staffing and supervision, and more intensive youth treatment programs.
I am calling for an investigation of practices that determine where juveniles are placed by OCFS so that we can deter more tragedies from happening.
My heartfelt sympathies are extended to Renee Greco’s family. Ms. Greco was an innocent woman who devoted her efforts to helping others, and we owe it to her memory to get to the bottom of these circumstances.”