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Woman says Buffalo police took car to find lost dog

Posted at 6:58 PM, Jan 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-04 18:58:55-05

A Buffalo business owner said a police officer forced himself into her car and told her to drive.  That's an account Buffalo Police disagree with, but officials said they did use a car to help locate a dog that got loose on the Kensington Expressway.

Nikita Williams owns Phenomenal Expressions in downtown Buffalo.  She was driving on the Kensington Monday night when she found the on-ramp to the 198 was blocked by police cars.  Williams slowed down to ask police what was going on when she says an officer waved her down in the middle of the expressway and approached her vehicle.

"He opened the door," Williams said.  "[He] jumped in my car into the passenger seat and ordered me to drive."

A spokesperson for Buffalo Police says that isn't how it actually happened.  Police were responding to a car accident with injuries when a dog was spotted wandering on the eastbound portion of the Kensington near the 198.

Police say they asked Williams if she would drive an officer "about 150 yards down the road" to get the dog and she agreed.  Other police vehicles were blocking traffic and attending to the car accident, unable to help with the dog.

But for Williams, the experience was "terrifying".  She said she didn't know what the officer wanted and worried she was being led into a dangerous situation.

"I did fear for my safety," Williams said.  "Completely.  I just thank God at the end of the day it was over a dog and not some sort of dangerous situation.  A criminal pursuit.  It could have turned out very differently."

Police say they would never ask a civilian to drive into a dangerous situation.

Without Williams driving the officer, police say the dog likely would have been killed on the expressway.