September 17, 2021 18:32

Buffalo teen charged with insurance fraud after vandalizing his own car with ‘Trump 4 President’ graffiti

An 18-year-old man told Buffalo police last month someone vandalized his car, spray painting “Trump 4 President” and also profanity next to the phrase “Blacks Matter.”

On Tuesday, he was accused in Buffalo City Court of vandalizing his own vehicle.

Clifton Eutsey was charged with third-degree insurance fraud, a felony, and falsely reporting an incident.

He was also charged with three misdemeanors: offering a false instrument for filing in the second degree, falsifying business records and falsely reporting an incident.

Eutsey turned himself in Tuesday morning and appeared at his arraignment virtually from the Buffalo Police Department’s central booking facility.

The vandalism report was made Oct. 15 on Saranac Avenue in North Buffalo. It was initially reported by a neighbor, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said.

The graffiti also included swastikas and a homophobic slur. The 2004 BMW also had its windshield smashed and sugar poured in its gas tank.

Frank LoTempio III, Eutsey’s attorney, entered a plea of not guilty on his client’s behalf.

Under state bail reform measures, the judge was not permitted to set any bail.

“Behave out there, Mr. Eutsey,” City Court Judge Shannon Heneghan said.

There is video evidence to support the fraud allegation, Flynn told reporters Tuesday.

Following the incident, a local collision shop owner offered to repair the vandalized vehicle. Flynn said that Eutsey’s car has been in police custody since the incident and was not available to be repaired.

In a separate case, Eutsey was pulled over on the night of Oct. 24. According to the DA’s office, Buffalo police officers observed him leave a vehicle unattended and with the engine running outside a home on Erskine Avenue on the night of Oct. 24. Police saw him return to the car and begin driving. They pulled him over on Erskine near Suffolk Street. Police said he was driving without a license. Police searched the vehicle and found two loaded, illegally owned handguns, Flynn said.

Eutsey was arrested and charged with felony weapons possession, as well as driving without a license and leaving a motor vehicle unattended, according to city court records. He was released on $20,000 cash or bond, or $10,000 partially secured bond.

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©2020 The Buffalo News (Buffalo, N.Y.)

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