A Niagara Falls man accused of assaulting a neighbor, then bringing her to his basement against her will and chaining her up, has pleaded not guilty.
Michael Ciskiewic was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Task Force hiding in an industrial area just off of 24th Street and Allen Avenue, not far from his Monroe Avenue home.
Ciskiewic is to be formally charged with felony counts of kidnapping, burglary, rape, assault, and a misdemeanor count of menacing with a weapon. He was scheduled to answer the charges against him at 9 a.m. but the judge granted his attorney a few more hours to prepare for the arraignment.
Family of the victim told police she has been released from a Buffalo hospital. Police said she did not know Ciskiewic personally, but she knew that he did yard work in the neighborhood where they both live. That’s why police said she let him in when he knocked on the door early Sunday morning.
Police said Ciskiewic dragged her back to his house, locking chains around her ankles, taping her wrists and then tried to gag her with a sock and duct tape.
After her family called 911 to report her missing, a bloodhound picked up on the scent that led them to Ciskiewic’s home. Once there, police found blood near a broken window and once inside, they heard a woman’s scream come from the basement.
A standoff then began with police negotiating over the phone. After nearly 12 hours though, it turned out that the suspect was not inside. Authorities realized this after breaking windows and tear-gassing the home.
Investigators said the victim, who was restrained for some 13 hours, was a fighter and her determination may have saved her own life.
An order of protection was issued for the victim. Ciskiewic will remain behind bars, as there was no bail set for him in court.