Police & Fire

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Newfield High School students are mourning the loss of a classmate.

On its website, Middle Country school district shared the news of the death of senior Jenna Perez, 17, who was the victim of a hit-and-run accident that occurred Aug. 24 along Route 347 in Port Jefferson Station.

“It is with a heavy heart that I inform you of the tragic loss of one of our own,” Principal Scott Graviano said in the statement. “Jenna Perez, scheduled to start her senior year at Newfield, was killed in a hit-and-run accident last night in Port Jefferson Station.”

The high school started providing grief counselors Aug. 26, according to the statement.

“Please keep Jenna, her twin sister Janell, her family and friends in your thoughts and prayers,” Graviano added.

Perez, of Selden, was crossing Nesconset Highway southbound, approximately 300 feet west of Terryville Road in Port Jefferson Station, when she was struck by a vehicle believed to be traveling westbound on the roadway at around 9:25 p.m. Aug. 24, according to Suffolk County Police Department. The driver fled the scene in the vehicle.

Perez left work at Five Guys and was walking to Taco Bell when she was hit, according to SCPD officials. Where she was crossing there is no light or crosswalk, and it’s possible she was hit by more than one vehicle.

The high school senior was pronounced dead at the scene by a physician assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner.

A GoFundMe page In Memory of Jenna Perez has been set up to help her family with burial costs. On that page organizer Emily Keuler describes the Newfield student as “a beautiful, hardworking, intelligent teenager who strived to create a good life for herself, despite obstacles that may have come her way.” As of Aug. 28, nearly $7,500 had already been raised, surpassing the $5,000 goal.

“She did not deserve the fate she suffered at the hands of someone so careless and negligent in their actions,” Keuler wrote in the post.

Another GoFundMe page Justice for Jenna Perez was set up by Jose Ortiz on Aug. 27. According to information posted on the page, the funeral will be held at Ortiz Funeral Home in the Bronx and information would be posted once dates are confirmed.

According to a post by Ortiz on the page, Perez was an employee for more than two years with the Five Guys franchise and training for a management position.

“She enjoyed photography, taking pictures of her dog, her favorite pastime, and did volunteer work for peers with special needs,” Ortiz posted. “Her perspective was a glass half full mindset and she was loved by many.”

Detectives are asking anyone with information on this crash to call the Major Case Unit at 631-852-6555.

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Photo of Michael Cristiano. Photo from SCPD

Police said Michael Cristiano has been located, unharmed.

*Below is the original article:

Suffolk County Police issued a Silver Alert for a missing homeless in Port Jefferson who may be suicidal.

Police said Michael Cristiano, 41, made suicidal statements to a friend, adding he suffers from drug and alcohol addictions and lives in a yellow tent in the woods behind the Greenbelt Bike Train in Port Jefferson.

Cristiano was last heard from Aug. 22 at 7:45 p.m. Cristiano is white, balding, with graying hair and a beard. He is missing his right eye, and his left eye is brown. He is 5 feet 11 inches tall and approximately 220 pounds.

Anyone with information on Cristiano’s location is asked to call 911 or the 6th Squad at 631-854-8652.

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Security footage of the man who allegedly robbed the Miller Place Chase Bank. Photo from SCPD

Police said they have arrested a man in connection with the robbery of the Miller Place Chase bank earlier this month.

Suffolk County Police arrested Raymond Peruggi, 29, in Mastic Beach Monday, Aug. 20 at around 8:55 p.m. Peruggi was described as undomiciled.

Peruggi was held overnight at the 7thprecinct and is scheduled to be arraigned in First District Court in Central Islip. He has been charged with 3rddegree robbery.

On Aug. 12, a man allegedly entered the Chase Bank, located at 385 Route 25A, at around 2:40 p.m. and displayed a note demanding cash to an employee. The teller complied with the suspect’s demands and gave him cash from the drawer. He then fled the bank on foot, west towards Miller Place road, police said.

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Police arrested a residential community security guard for allegedly assaulting a visitor Wednesday, Aug. 14.

Suffolk County Police said John Ruggiero, while working as a security guard at The Ranches at Mount Sinai condominium complex, located along Route 25A, allegedly denied entry to a 68-year-old man who was attempting to visit a friend Aug. 14 at around 2:55 p.m. The two men exchanged words followed by a physical altercation, during which the 68-year-old man sustained serious injuries. Police did not release the name of the other man involved in the fight.

Police could not say who provoked the incident or threw the first punch.

The visitor was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital where he was listed in serious condition. Ruggiero, 50, of Port Jefferson Station, was treated and released from St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson for injuries sustained during the fight. He was charged with assault 2nd degree and is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 15 at First District Court in Central Islip.

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Security footage of woman police said stole from Chris Jewelers in Port Jeff. Photo from SCPD
Security footage of woman police said stole from Chris Jewelers in Port Jeff. Photo from SCPD

Suffolk County 6th precinct police officers are trying to identify and locate a woman who allegedly stole merchandise from a Port Jefferson store in July.

A woman allegedly stole a silver ring from Chris Jeweler, located at 202 Main Street, July 30, at around 2 p.m.

Detectives are asking anyone with information on this robbery to call Major Case at 631-852-6555. Suffolk County Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest. Anyone with information about these incidents can contact Suffolk County Crime Stoppers to submit an anonymous tip by calling 800-220-TIPS (8477) or texting “SCPD” and your message to “CRIMES” (274637). All calls and text messages are kept confidential.

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Security footage of the man who allegedly robbed the Miller Place Chase Bank. Photo from SCPD
Security footage of the man who allegedly robbed the Miller Place Chase Bank. Photo from SCPD

Suffolk County Police are looking for a man who allegedly robbed the Miller Place Chase Bank the afternoon of Monday, Aug. 12.

Police said a man entered Chase Bank, located at 385 Route 25A, at around 2:40 p.m. and displayed a note demanding cash to an employee. The teller complied with the suspect’s demands and gave him cash from the drawer. Police said the suspect fled the bank on foot, west towards Miller Place road.

Security footage of the man who allegedly robbed the Miller Place Chase Bank. Photo from SCPD

The suspect was described as a white man in his late 20s to 30s, average height, medium build, wearing dark rimmed glasses and a full dark colored beard. He was wearing a blue t-shirt, blue jeans, dark colored shoes and a summer style fedora hat.

Detectives are asking anyone with information on this robbery to call Major Case at 631-852-6555. Suffolk County Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest. Anyone with information about these incidents can contact Suffolk County Crime Stoppers to submit an anonymous tip by calling 800-220-TIPS (8477) or texting “SCPD” and your message to “CRIMES” (274637). All calls and text messages are kept confidential.

File photo.

Suffolk County Police arrested a Selden teenager Aug. 11 following two car crashes, one which seriously injured a pedestrian. The teen was allegedly driving while intoxicated and left the scene of an accident.

Christina Burns, 17, slept at the home of Francis Rogalle, located on Ashford Drive in Bohemia, after attending a party at his residence the evening of Aug. 10. She left the home at approximately 6:50 a.m. Aug. 11 driving a 2005 Nissan Altima and, while traveling on Ashford Drive, left the roadway, struck a mailbox and drove across a lawn before allegedly striking Che Yeung, 80, of Bohemia, who was walking in the street. Burns fled the scene in her vehicle.

Approximately half an hour later, Burns was allegedly involved in a second crash at the intersection of Route 347 and Route 25 in Nesconset. SCPD 4th Precinct officers charged her with driving while intoxicated.

An investigation by 4th Precinct officers revealed that Burns’ vehicle had more damage than sustained in the Nesconset crash. Fifth Squad detectives were notified, and she was linked to the earlier incident. Burns was subsequently charged with leaving the scene of an accident with serious physical injury.

Yeung was transported to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore where she is in critical condition.

Rogalle, 50, was charged with violating Suffolk County’s Social Host Law. Burns was held overnight at the 4th Precinct and is scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip Aug. 12.

Burns’ Nissan was impounded as evidence.

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Suffolk County police are trying to use digital conferencing technology to better communicate with those who are hard of hearing and speech impaired. 

“This announcement is about making our department more accessible and inclusive to the communities we serve,” County Executive Steve Bellone (D) said at a press conference July 31. “It is a top priority.” 

The department will be using the service, Language Line Insight Video Interpreting, which will allow officers to instantly connect with an interpreter who can assist in communicating with hard of hearing or speech impaired individuals in American Sign Language during a traffic stop, home visit or other emergency. 

“The days of having to wait for an interpreter to arrive on the scene and communicating through pen and paper — those days are over in Suffolk County,” Bellone said. Stu Cameron, chief of department, said this new addition will help close the loop in communications when officers are on the scene.  

Typically, if a deaf or hard of hearing person needs assistance, officers rely on pen and paper or they call a sign language interpreter to the scene or the local precinct. This can be a lengthy process and Cameron said he feels by adding this app to the officers’ tablets, they will be more effective in assisting those individuals.  

“Not only will our patrol cars have this capability, but our investigative units and detectives will have this as well,” he said. “ … We can get information very rapidly without having to go back and forth.”

Geraldine Hart, Suffolk police commissioner, said more than a year ago the department began outfitting vehicles with portal tablets to give officers immediate access to language access services. 

“There are millions of people who communicate in sign language, making it the fourth-most used language in the U.S.,” the police commissioner said. “While we teach our recruits basic sign language and ways to communicate with deaf or hard of hearing people — we want to do more.”

Similarly, last year the department launched a text 911 program in an effort to help those with hearing and/or speech impairments.

The implementation of the new tablets is part of a three-year capital project, officials said. Currently, the department is in the second year of the project and has 155 tablets installed in patrol cars. Cameron said he expects by the end of next year to have all patrol cars equipped with the devices and have more than 450 tablets in use.   

Liam Whitworth
Updated: Liam Whitworth was located in Stony Brook Aug. 3, unharmed.
Suffolk County Police have issued a Silver Alert for a missing man who has been diagnosed with depression and may be suicidal.
Liam Whitworth, 21, who was residing in Centereach, went missing from his residence on Callan Lane Aug. 2 at approximately 6:30 p.m. after leaving a suicide note. He was last seen driving a 2009 Silver Nissan Sentra with NY license plates AGG-4918. He is 5 feet 9 inches tall and approximately 140 pounds, with blue eyes and brown hair. He has family in Rocky Point and employment in Lake Grove.
Anyone with information on Liam Whitworth’s location is asked to call 911 or the 6th squad at 631-854-8652.
As a reminder, Silver Alert is a program implemented in Suffolk County that allows local law enforcement to share information with media outlets about individuals with special needs who have been reported missing.

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File photo
Photo from SCPD

 

Police  are trying to identify and locate a man who allegedly attempted to use a debit card he stole from a Stony Brook business.

A man allegedly stole cash and a debit card from a wallet belonging to an employee at North Country Gas, located at 105 Main Street July 19. Later that day, the man then allegedly attempted to use the debit card to purchase gift cards at Target, located at 255 Pond Path in Setauket, but the purchase was declined.

Suffolk County Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest. Anyone with information about these incidents can contact Suffolk County Crime Stoppers to submit an anonymous tip by calling 800-220-TIPS (8477) or texting “SCPD” and your message to “CRIMES” (274637). All calls and text messages will be kept confidential.