Supporters of Dwayne A. Ferguson, the community activist arrested last month after he was found carrying a handgun at an East Side school where he works with an after-school program, have inundated a Buffalo City Court judge with letters.
City Judge E. Jeanette Ogden, who had been scheduled to hold a felony hearing for Ferguson on Thursday, said she will forward the letters of support to a judge in a higher court when Ferguson’s case is eventually assigned.
Defense attorney Joseph A. Agro told the judge that the letters were written by people who know his client and that he has told him to put the word out that supporters should stop sending letters to the judge.
Agro asked the judge to adjourn the felony hearing Thursday so that he can discuss with his client whether to go ahead with the hearing or waive it.
The judge adjourned the case until March 27.
Ferguson, 52, of Butler Avenue, is charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, including having a loaded weapon on school grounds. Ferguson, longtime president of the MAD DADS Buffalo chapter, has worked with at-risk youth in after-school programs in various city schools for several years.
He pleaded not guilty last month and was released on his own recognizance.
Police said he has a pistol permit.
School 97 Harvey Austin Elementary School was put in lockdown shortly after 4 p.m. Feb. 6 when the school office received an anonymous call that there was a man with a gun on or near the school property on Sycamore Street. About 60 students were in the building for after-school programs.
About 15 patrol cars responded to the scene, and the lockdown ended about four hours later when Ferguson was arrested.