BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Rocker Dave Schneider of the band "The Leevees" was on his way from Portland, Maine to Saint Petersburg, Florida when fate - and a winter storm - brought him to the Buffalo airport.
Catching a connecting flight to Detroit, agents for Delta Airlines would not allow Schneider to take his cherished guitar, a 1965 Gibson ES-335, on board and it ended up getting shredded in Detroit.
"I begged, I tried, I told them the value," Schneider recalled.
The guitar was worth just under $10,000. Schneider says he pleaded with Delta staffers to let him take his vintage guitar onto the plane, but they refused. He even offered to buy an extra seat for his prize instrument, but they insisted: if you want to fly, you've got to check it.
Arriving in Detroit, Schneider even recorded the guitar being transferred on his phone and you can hear him asking a Delta agent for help.
But as Schneider waited in the baggage claim area, a luggage elevator suddenly ground to a halt with Schneider's guitar wedged in the elevator shaft.
"This big, three-tiered metal crate goes up in the elevator shaft, and all of a sudden it just sounded like a wood shredder, going da-na-na-na," Schneider said.
Delta Airlines e-mailed News 4 a written statement saying, in part, "Delta has been in touch with this customer to apologize..." adding they encourage musicians to carry on their instruments, when possible. But Schneider was in a smaller aircraft that did not have enough storage space for the guitar.
Schneider said, "I'm going to ask for $10,000. That is for the value of the guitar, and you should not give people the runaround."
He estimates it would cost nearly $2,000 to fix his vintage guitar. But "The Leevees" just posted on their Facebook page that Gibson is offering to fix the 1965 guitar for free and give Schneider a 50th anniversary model, similar to his damaged Gibson, for all his troubles with Delta Airlines.
The Erie County Sheriff's Bomb Squad, ATF, and the Buffalo Police Department were called to Tioga Street near Fairchild Place in North Buffalo just before midnight Thursday.
Eighty-two-year-old Edward Spencer was making a left hand turn while exiting the Budwey's parking lot when he struck 52-year-old Sandra Garner and 55-year-old Kevin Nowak, according to authorities.
An angry mother who claims her daughter was dropped-off miles away from home wants answers.
Deputies say a teen driver fell asleep at the wheel early Thursday morning before crashing head-on with another vehicle.
Police say a Jamestown man was selling crack cocaine out of his barber shop on East Second Street.
City Hall is considering turning to taxpayers to help keep the lights on at the only movie theatre in downtown Buffalo.