Joseph S. Chowaniec (via Erie County Sheriff’s Office)
A New York man has been arrested and charged with threatening to attack businesses in Buffalo just days after an accused white supremacist allegedly shot and killed 10 Black people at a grocery store there.
Joseph S. Chowaniec, 52, is accused of making threatening phone calls to two restaurants in the City of Buffalo on Sunday, forcing one of them to close.
“It is alleged that on Sunday, May 15, 2022, at approximately 12:05 p.m., the defendant made a phone call to a pizzeria located on Delaware Avenue in the City of Buffalo,” the Erie County District Attorney’s Office said in a press release Monday. “The defendant allegedly spoke with an employee and made a threat with the intent to intimidate or coerce that created a reasonable expectation of fear. The pizzeria closed for the day after the alleged incident.”
Within the hour, Chowaniec allegedly called a second location, making threats that were similarly intimidating.
“It is further alleged that on Sunday, May 15, 2022, at approximately 12:47 p.m., the defendant placed a second phone call to a brewery located in downtown Buffalo,” the press release says. “The defendant allegedly spoke with an employee and made a threat with the intent to intimidate or coerce that created a reasonable expectation of fear.”
According to local CBC affiliate WIVB, Chowaniec allegedly called Bocce Pizza and, as he complained about a pizza made earlier in the week, threatened to “shoot up Bocce’s like the Tops on Jefferson.”
WIVB identified Chowaniec’s second alleged target as the Southern Tier Brewing Company in Downtown Buffalo.
Any resemblance to Sunday’s grocery store attack, officials say, was intentional.
“In both alleged threats, the defendant allegedly…