LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Niagara County lawmaker is accused of slashing someone’s tire and could be arrested by police.
Legislator William Collins, who is up for reelection on Tuesday, faces one count of criminal mischief, a class A misdemeanor. It’s an incident that was caught on video and was first reported by News 4.
Roy Hamilton, who says it was his truck that was vandalized in this incident, called Legislator Collins a “coward.” He is seeking restitution for damage to his truck and loss of earnings.
“I’m saying he’s a coward, what man does that to another man’s work vehicle knowing this man is working,” Hamilton said.
In the video, Lockport Police say Collins, a Republican Niagara County Legislator, appears to be taking something out — possibly a knife — and slashing the tire of a truck. The bang appears to spook Collins, who runs away.
“When you puncture something that’s got that much pressure in it, it sounds like a bomb went off. And that’s what it sounded like when he punctured it, it shook the whole bar, if you ask people in the bar it shook the bar, you could hear it two blocks away,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton says his truck was parked behind Attitudes Bar and Grill on Thursday of last week, while he was having lunch with friends. Hamilton says Collins was inside the bar and that he’s seen him there before.
“He just stared at me and then after a while he left, he went out the front door and about 15-20 minutes later, that’s when we heard a big bang and my buddy rushed outside and sees my tire and everybody rushed outside and my tire was like totally flat,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton says he does not know Legislator Collins and has no idea why he would do this. Hamilton, a general contractor, says he lost out on earnings from two jobs that day, which would’ve paid him about $8,000.
“I was furious, I was really furious, like why would he do this? And, I was just upset, seeing nothing but red, Hamilton said. “What am I supposed to do? Nothing, I can’t do nothing but go to the police. That was for Christmas toys for my grandkids and everything, you know what I’m saying, it’s that time of season.”
Collins is the legislator for the 12th district of Niagara County, which includes portions of both the City of Lockport as well as the Town of Lockport.
Lockport Police tell us they’ve heard from Collins’ attorney, Robert Moscato who says the legislator is in Florida and that he’s expected to turn himself in on Tuesday — which is Election Day — or Wednesday. News 4 has reached out to Collins and his attorney numerous times but has not heard back.
Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.