BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A man who unlawfully invaded a Buffalo duplex while looking for a fugitive is going to spend time behind bars.
Overnight in January 2021, Dennis White, 36, entered a home on Oakdale Place in search of a man wanted on a bench warrant out of Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. The building belonged to the fugitive’s brother, Jake Reinhardt.
Reinhardt says his brother had never even lived at the duplex, nor was he there at the time. When the situation was unfolding, Reinhardt thought it was Buffalo police who were trying to get into his home, since several police vehicles were outside.
In concert with another person, White was acting as a bail enforcement agent, or bounty hunter, but he was not licensed to do so.
At the time, he was armed with either a rifle or a shotgun. Prosecutors say White pointed the gun at the homeowner, his fiance, and two adult tenants living upstairs.
In order to get upstairs, prosecutors say White damaged the door.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn, who has called White a “law enforcement wannabe,” says “As a bail bondsmen, you have no right to go into a third-party home. Anyone else’s home is off limits without a search warrant.”
At White’s sentencing Friday morning, State Supreme Court Judge M. William Boller chided White for failing to cooperate with probation officers. The judge said White didn’t return phone calls, missed one meeting, and then arrived a half-hour late for the rescheduled interview, where he apparently refused to answer some of the questions asked by the probation officers.
Because of that, Boller reneged on a commitment he made this past summer that he would only sentence White to probation with a fine.
“I don’t think he is taking this seriously now,” Boller said.
James Maloney, White’s attorney, asked for an adjournment of the sentencing so he could glean more details from his client about the judge’s criticisms.
But Boller refused.
“And that is why he is going to jail today because he didn’t cooperate with probation,” Boller said. “I told you to cooperate! You’re not the boss on telling what probation officers need, they are!”
Boller sentenced White to 60 days in jail. White will also serve two years and 10 months on probation upon his release. In addition to that, White cannot have any contact with the victims for five years.
“Let’s talk about the victims of this case when you came in with that gun and terrorized that house?” Boller said. “That’s who I am thinking about today, and I was still willing to only give him a fine and probation until he showed me that he needs an attitude adjustment. I don’t know what else to do?”
Three children were home when this all took place. This past November, White pleaded guilty to 10 misdemeanor counts against him:
- criminal trespassing (two counts)
- menacing (four counts)
- endangering the welfare of a child (three counts)
- criminal mischief (one count)