BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A man who allegedly stole a fire truck while first responders were at a call and drove it a mile through downtown Buffalo was arraigned Tuesday on an indictment for three felony charges, the Erie County District Attorney’s office announced.
Fire commissioner Bill Renaldo told News 4 in July that a four-member crew was responding to an EMS call on Main Street’s 500 block around 11:50 p.m. when they came back outside and realized their truck was gone.
Yassin A. Abdikadir, 25, of Buffalo, was arraigned Tuesday after his indictment. Charges included grand larceny in the second degree, criminal possession of stolen property in the second degree, criminal mischief in the second degree, and obstructing emergency medical services. The latter charge is a misdemeanor.
Renaldo said in July he was unsure how long the truck was unattended, though the air brakes were engaged, making it difficult to drive away.
The truck was later found near Delaware Avenue and Allen Street, roughly a mile away. In fact, Renaldo said, someone who was inside the bar Colter Bay used a fire extinguisher on the truck because it had become smoky, possible because the air brakes were engaged.
The DA’s office said Abdikadir also hit three parked cars while driving the fire truck, causing damage to each vehicle. He was found hiding in a garbage tote shortly after the incident, they said.
The DA’s office said in July that Abdikadir was also charged for allegedly stealing a large volume of alcohol the night before the fire truck incident. It was alleged Abdikadir entered an Ellicott Street restaurant at 2:29 a.m. the night prior and broke into a storage cabinet and stole approximately 50 bottles of alcohol. This incident landed him two additional felony charges for burglary and grand larceny, as well as misdemneor criminal mischief charge. The grand jury decision Tuesday was only related to the fire truck incident.
Abdikadir is scheduled is scheduled for a pre-trial conference on Nov. 22. He remains released to the Courts Outreach Unit: Referral & Treatment Services program. If convicted of the highest charge, he faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, the DA’s office said.
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Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook and Twitter and find more of his work here.