Tenant-Landlord Dispute Brings Police to the Scene

January 12, 2012 Updated Jan 12, 2012 at 11:23 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

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January 12, 2012 Updated Jan 12, 2012 at 11:23 PM EDT

North Tonawanda, N.Y. (WKBW) - Police were on the scene at Valenti's Italian Restaurant in the North Tonawanda Budwey's Plaza Thursday morning for the second time in two days.

Police were there for a dispute over the ownership of a truck, but their visit on Wednesday was a bit more complicated.

"We had our doors blocked by vehicles and our patrons physically dragged out," said restaurant owner Terry Valenti. He also said the gas was shut off.

The owner of the building, Frank Budwey, doesn't deny that he did block the door. He says he had the gas shut off and politely asked patrons to leave. He said he was trying to move the eviction process along because Valenti and his co-owner Lori Brocuglio owe thousands of dollars in utilities and rent.

"The eviction process gives the tenant too many days to wreck your building, take your equipment and vandalize. This was a different approach than the legal system because we know the legal system is not the best for certain entities because in this case, it favors the tenants who are not paying," Budwey said.

Shortly after, Budwey did move the vehicles and the gas was turned back on because Budwey said he wanted to let the legal system run its course.

There is still a dispute as to if the rent was paid and how much.

"This is the full payment now and we don't own anything," Valenti said.

Budwey disagrees.

"A fraudulent check like she gave me for December's rent which is overdue. The $3,000 check will not clear," Budwey said.

Although Budwey said he will go about the eviction process legally and Valenti claims he paid the money, the conflict continues. Now, both sides said their attorneys would be taking the issue up in court.