Police & Fire

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Suffolk County police 2nd squad detectives are investigating a car accident that killed a man in Greenlawn Friday night.

Police said Michael Spera was driving a 1995 Nissan westbound on Clay Pitts Road near Stratford Avenue when he lost control and the car overturned at approximately 6:50 p.m. May 18. Spera, 34, of East Northport, was transported to Huntington Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Christopher Walsh, 36, of East Northport, a passenger in the car, was transported to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The vehicle was impounded for a safety check. Detectives are asking anyone with information about the crash to call the 2nd squad at 631-854-8252.

File photo by Victoria Espinoza

Police have arrested a Huntington Station man for his alleged involvement in a March 31 shooting in Lindenhurst.

Hector Gonzalez, 27, of Huntington Station, an alleged Latin Kings gang member, was arrested May 15 and charged with allegedly murdering Herminio Torres, 25, of Elizabeth, New Jersey. Attorney information for Gonzalez was not immediately available.

An altercation started inside and continued outside at 105 Grados, located at 105 Sunrise Highway, at approximately 3:20 a.m. During the fight, two men were shot and three men were stabbed.

“The district attorney’s office remains committed to eradicating dangerous street gangs from our communities and cracking down on senseless gun violence,” District Attorney Tim Sini (D) said. “We will do everything in our power to bring this individual, a self-proclaimed Latin Kings gang member, to justice.”

Torres, was transported by the Lindenhurst Fire Department to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip where he was pronounced dead. The second shooting victim, 26, self-transported to an area hospital and was subsequently transported to another hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. A 23-year-old man was stabbed and transported to an area hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Two other men who were stabbed, ages 28 and 35, were transported to local hospitals where they were treated and released.

Anyone with information is asked to call Homicide Squad detectives at 631-852-6392 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS (8477).

Planet Gas on Pulaski Road in Greenlawn. Photo from Google Maps

Suffolk County police arrested three people for selling e-liquid nicotine to minors at businesses located in the Town of Huntington.

In response to community complaints, 2nd Precinct crime section officers and representatives from Suffolk’s Department of Health Services Tobacco Regulation Enforcement Unit conducted an investigation into the sale of e-liquid nicotine to minors at 11 businesses.

The following people were arrested and charged with second-degree unlawfully dealing with a child:

  • Ramazan Gurler, 49, of Deer Park, employed at Planet Gas on Pulaski Road in Greenlawn
  • Tasabbir Hossain, 25, of Ronkonkoma, employed at 110 Convenience on Walt Whitman Road in Huntington Station
  • Somesh Dhawan, 30, of Queens Village, employed at Evolve IV Smoke Shop on Jericho Turnpike in East Northport

The owners of the above businesses were issued a notice of violation by the county’s Department of Health.

The following businesses complied, and refused the sale of e-liquid nicotine to minors:

  • Smoke Shop, located at 6318 Jericho Turnpike in Commack
  • Long Island Vape, located at 469A East Jericho Turnpike in Huntington Station
  • Gotham Smoke & Novelty Shop, located at 681 East Jericho Turnpike in Huntington Station
  • Whatever Vape Shop, located at 675 Jericho Turnpike in Huntington Station
  • East Coast Psychedelics, located at 6124 Jericho Turnpike in Commack
  • Liquid Lyfe Vapor Shop, located at 6160 East Jericho Turnpike in Commack
  • Gulf Gas, located at 253 Broadway in Greenlawn
  • Mr. Tobacco, located at 2031 Jericho Turnpike in East Northport

The three people arrested were issued field appearance tickets and are scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on a later date.

Suffolk County police arrested a woman May 10 who allegedly attempted to murder her newborn baby earlier this year.

Felicia Squillace gave birth at her home in Coram April 27 at approximately 1:30 p.m. The mother then allegedly wrapped the baby boy in a plastic bag and attempted to put the baby in a garbage bin outside. Two residents of the home heard the baby cry, took the bag from the mother, removed the baby and called police.

Following the birth, Squillace was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital for medical treatment and evaluation. She was subsequently transferred to Brunswick Hospital in Amityville where upon her release she was arrested by detectives from the special victim’s section.

The baby was transported to St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson for evaluation and has since been released to foster care.

Squillace, 26, was be held overnight at the 4th Precinct and is scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on May 11. Attorney information was not immediately available.

Officer Michael Cassidy with Thor, left, and Officer Christopher Fezza assisted the Suffolk County Police Department’s 6th Precinct with saving a man who was about to hang himself in a wooded area in Stony Brook. Photos from Suffolk County Police Department

A German Shepherd recently proved why dogs are man’s best friend.

A Stony Brook man is alive today due to the efforts of a dog named Thor and two Suffolk County Police Department canine section officers, Michael Cassidy and Christopher Fezza. On April 30, after an unsuccessful attempt by police to find a suicidal man in a wooded area near Seabrook Court, 6th Precinct officers called the canine section unit for assistance.

“There was one point that the ladder started to fall, and I didn’t know how long I could hold onto the ladder or hold him up.”

— Christopher Fezza

When Cassidy and Fezza arrived on the scene, Cassidy said Thor was brought to the last place where it was believed the victim was seen. From there he followed the missing man’s scent, and the officers were able to find him. When they discovered him in the woods, he had climbed a ladder and had a noose around his neck.

Fezza said he climbed the subject’s ladder in order to hold him up and take the tension off the noose.

“There was one point that the ladder started to fall, and I didn’t know how long I could hold onto the ladder or hold him up,” Fezza said.

Another 6th Precinct officer was able to steady the ladder, and Cassidy handed Fezza a knife to free the man.

“Having officer Fezza with me was essential in the success in saving this individual’s life,” Cassidy said.

Fezza, who has been with the canine unit for more than a year and with SCPD for 10 years, said it was all in a day’s work.

When it comes to finding an individual, Cassidy, who has worked with seven-year-old Thor since he was 10 months old, said German Shepherds, unlike Bloodhounds, don’t need a piece of a person’s clothing to find them and basically go by ground odor. Cassidy said once a victim is found, he has to stay by Thor.

“You take them into an area and whoever was the last person there, that dog will pick up their scent.”

— Michael Cassidy

“You take them into an area and whoever was the last person there, that dog will pick up their scent,” Cassidy said. “And once they have that scent, they’ll stick with that. They will discriminate from other scents and they will continue to track that scent.”

The officer, who has been with the police department for 27 years and with the canine unit for 18, said he and Thor quite often respond to calls involving a suicidal person, and the incidents have increased over the years, he speculated as a byproduct of the heroin and opioid addiction crisis.

Both Cassidy and Fezza said most people go into police work to help others, and it doesn’t get better than saving someone’s life.

“It’s definitely rewarding when you’re able to locate a subject and prevent them from actually killing themselves,” Cassidy said.

Once the victim was rescued, he was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital for evaluation.

JoS A. Bank shop remains closed as of 1 p.m. May 7.

By Sara-Megan Walsh

A car crashed through the wall of a Huntington Village shop Saturday afternoon, sending shoppers scrambling for cover.

Suffolk County police and Huntington Fire Department volunteers responded to reports of a vehicle careening into the side of JoS. A. Bank clothing store, on the corner of Main Street and Stewart Avenue, May 5 at approximately 4 p.m, according to fire department spokesman Steve Silverman. Police said an elderly woman driving a 1999 Subaru, traveling westbound on Main Street, had attempted to make a right turn onto Stewart Avenue when she lost control of the vehicle.

The driver suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was transported via Huntington Community First Aid Squad to Huntington Hospital for treatment, according to Silverman. There were six individuals inside the store at the time of the accident who escaped uninjured.

The Town of Huntington Building Department was notified of the crash and sent to check the building for structural damage.

Tom Laurice, manager for the Huntington JoS. A. Bank location, said the store was closed May 6 and remained closed as of 1 p.m. May 7 as the building’s structural integrity still needed to be evaluated by a Huntington Town building inspector.  Laurice said he hopes to reopen for business following whatever repairs are deemed necessary this week.

A fire broke out at 201 Main Street in Port Jefferson during the early morning hours May 5, putting a serious crimp in plans for caffeine addicts far and wide.

The location, which houses Starbucks on the ground floor and Barito Tacos & Cocktails on the second floor, caught fire early Saturday morning, according to an 8:30 a.m. May 5 Facebook post by Port Jefferson Fire Department Chief Brennan Holmes’ office.

“A good stop was made and damage to the building was minimal with little extension,” the post said.

The department was aided by members of the Terryville Fire Department. Starbucks was open as of Monday morning, May 7.

Police arrested Alhong Wang, Chunhua Cui, Guiyu Piao, and Hailian Shen were arrested for allegedly practicing massage without a license May 4.

Suffolk County police arrested four women for allegedly unlicensed massages during a raid at a massage parlor in Hauppauge.

In response to numerous community complaints, Suffolk County police 4th Precinct crime section officers and the Town of Islip fire marshal executed a search warrant May 4 at the Royal Spa, located on Motor Parkway, at approximately 4 p.m.

Hailian Shen, 49, of Flushing; Chunhua Cui, 50, of Flushing; Guiyu Piao 48, of Flushing; and Aihong Wang, 49, of Little Neck; were all arrested and charged with alleged unauthorized practice of a profession, a class E felony under the New York State Education law. In addition, Cui, Piao and Wang were also charged with prostitution.

During the investigation conducted by Islip fire marshals numerous violations and summons were issued.

Cui was held in lieu of $10,000 cash bail, which was not posted as of May 7. Wang was held in lieu of $7,500 cash bail, which also was not posted as of May 7.

The arrestees were arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip May 5. Details on Shen and Piao’s arrangements were not immediately available.

File photo by Victoria Espinoza

Suffolk County Police 6th Squad detectives are investigating a motor vehicle crash that killed a Rocky Point woman in Yaphank May 2.

Tracyann Fields, 27, was driving a 1999 Nissan Altima northbound on County Road 101, north of Long Island Ave., at around 9:15 a.m. when she lost control of the vehicle, struck a post and a sign and her vehicle overturned, according to police.

Fields was transported by the Yaphank Fire Department to Long Island Medical Center in East Patchogue where she was pronounced dead.

The vehicle was impounded for a safety check and the investigation is ongoing.

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Two Suffolk County police canine section officers rescued a man who attempted to commit suicide in Stony Brook April 30.

Sixth Precinct officers responded to a call April 30 at approximately 10:15 p.m. from a man who was concerned that his friend intended to commit suicide in a wooded area near Seabrook Court.

Officers were unable to immediately locate the subject and requested assistance from canine section officers Christopher Fezza and Michael Cassidy. Cassidy and his canine partner Thor located the man in a tree with a noose around his neck. Fezza climbed the victim’s ladder, which was next to the tree, and when the man started to hang himself, the officer pressed him against the ladder. Cassidy gave a knife to Fezza who cut the rope and lowered the man to the ground as 6th Precinct officers assisted.

The victim was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital for evaluation.

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