BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — An 18-year-old Cheektowaga man pleaded guilty to multiple charges in connection to two separate carjacking crimes, according to the Erie County District Attorney.
Josue Lubala pleaded guilty to the following charges:
- Robbery in the first degree – one count
- Kidnapping in the second degree – two counts
- Attempted kidnapping in the second degree – one count
- Attempted robbery in the first degree – one count
On Sept. 13, 2022, police say they responded to the area of Broadway and Wick Street after receiving a report of a kidnapping. According to police, the victim reported that she was about to leave Cheektowaga Town Park with a two-year-old child when Lubala approached her near Harlem Road and Greenleaf Lane.
Police say Lubala, while armed with a knife, abducted the victim by forcing her into her vehicle. Lubala then drove to Wick Street where, police say, he let the victim and the child exit the vehicle. Lubala then fled in the victim’s vehicle.
The following day, Sept. 14, Cheektowaga police say they responded to another reported carjacking incident in the parking lot near the Alexander Community Center at Cheektowaga Town Park.
According to police, a second female victim was reportedly sitting in the front passenger seat of a vehicle when Lubala entered through the driver’s side of the vehicle. Police say Lubala then attempted to rob and kidnap the victim by threatening her with a knife.
The victim was able to escape and run for help. A witness called 911 and reported the incident. Lubala was later located by Cheektowaga police on Walden Avenue and arrested after a brief chase.
Lubala is scheduled to return to court on April 6 for sentencing. He faces a maximum of 40 years in prison and continues to be held without bail.
Emily Miller is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2022. See more of her work here.