One charge dropped for man who caused school lockdown

Mar 27, 2014

A Buffalo man facing charges in connection with carrying a loaded gun into the Harvey Austin Elementary School on Sycamore Street school last month has had the most serious of three charges against him dropped.

Dwayne Ferguson, longtime president of the Buffalo chapter of Mad Dads and a volunteer with Buffalo Peacemakers, will not have to face a felony second degree criminal possession of a weapon, since he has a permit for the gun he was carrying during the February 6 incident. That conviction would have carried a maximum of 15 years in prison.

The school was put on lockdown for hours that afternoon after police responded to reports of a man carrying a gun on or near school property. No one was injured. Ferguson said he forgot he was carrying the firearm.

Ferguson is still charged with criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds, a felony since passage of the SAFE Act in New York State last year, with a four-year maximum prison term if convicted. He is also charged with a misdemeanor count of obstructing government administration, which carries a sentence of up to a year in prison.