Police & Fire

Police believe an air conditioner released carbon monoxide into a Hauppauge business Wednesday afternoon, sending 17 employees to the hospital.

According to the Suffolk County Police Department, a female employee at Liqui-Mark on Davids Drive had complained of a headache and nausea. Officers from the 4th Precinct, the Hauppauge Fire Department, the Smithtown fire marshal and local ambulance personnel responded to the scene. When carbon monoxide detectors showed high levels of the gas, the HFD tested about 30 employees for exposure — 17 of whom tested positive.

The woman who first reported feeling ill was treated for non-life-threatening conditions at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, police said. The other 16 exposed employees, who felt no symptoms, were treated at Good Samaritan, Bay Shore’s Southside Hospital and St. Catherine of Sienna Medical Center in Smithtown.

Officials said an air conditioning unit is believed to have caused the high levels of carbon monoxide at the business, which will be closed until that unit is repaired. Police said additional carbon monoxide detectors are being installed at the building.

The fire marshal is still investigating.

Nicholas Arettines mugshot from SCPD

Suffolk County Police arrested a Brentwood man and charged him with robbing a Hauppauge bank on Tuesday.

Police said Nicholas Arettines, 31, entered Bank of America on Motor Parkway and approached a teller at about 3:55 p.m., displaying a note demanding cash. The teller complied with the demands, and Arettines fled the scene, possibly to a waiting vehicle.

After speaking to multiple witnesses, responding officers were able to determine that Arettines fled southbound to the vicinity of Brentwood State Park, where he was found.

Arettines was charged with third-degree robbery. He was scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on May 27.

As of Wednesday, there was no attorney information on file for Arettines, according to an online court records database.

The investigation is ongoing. Police are asking anyone with information on the robbery to call Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS (8477). All calls will remain confidential.

Suffolk County Police Department to examine feasibility

Legislator Tom Muratore, center. File photo by Rachel Shapiro

Following in the footsteps of municipalities across the nation, the Suffolk County Legislature has agreed to explore creating safe spots where residents could conduct private sales transactions like those from websites like Craigslist.

County Legislator Tom Muratore (R-Ronkonkoma) introduced legislation that would direct the Suffolk County Police Department to study the feasibility of creating the safe spots. The Legislature adopted the bill on May 12, and the findings will be reported to the Legislature within 120 days.

“Technology is changing the way people are doing business,” Muratore said in a phone interview.

The former Suffolk County police officer said he drafted the resolution after hearing about a number of violent crimes committed against people who posted or responded to advertisements on Craigslist.

In January, police charged a man who allegedly killed a Georgia couple looking to buy a vintage car, news reports said. In March, a Colorado woman allegedly stabbed and removed the fetus of a woman who was seven months pregnant and had gone to the suspect’s home in response to an ad.

While the national incidents referenced in the legislation are particularly vicious, there are some cases of misconduct closer to home.

Nearly two months ago, Suffolk County police arrested and charged a 24-year-old Medford man with fourth-degree grand larceny after he allegedly stole a quad from a Centereach resident who had posted the vehicle for sale on Craigslist. Police said the suspect responded to the ad and drove off with quad.

Suffolk County wouldn’t be the first to create such spots. The safe havens — sometimes at police departments or in monitored precinct parking lots — have been set up in Columbia, Mo., Hartford, Conn., and in numerous Georgia towns, to name a few.

“If they can do it, why can’t a major police department do something like that,” Muratore said.

The legislator said precinct parking lots, which could be monitored by closed-circuit cameras, would be good locations for the spots, as there are seven precincts spread across the county, plus the department’s headquarters in Yaphank. The study will also examine any equipment and personnel costs associated with establishing the locations, he said.

According to Craigslist’s website, the majority of users are “trustworthy” and “well-intentioned” and the incidence of violent crimes is “extremely low.”

Craigslist offers some guidelines when meeting someone for the first time. The site said meetings should take place in a public place as opposed to a private home; users should take precautions when selling expensive items; tell someone where they are going; and consider having someone accompany them. In addition, it encourages people to make high-value exchanges at a local police station.

SCPD Deputy Chief Kevin Fallon said Tuesday that the department could not comment at this point, but would communicate findings once a report is complete.

Firefighters douse a blaze that overtook a two-story office building on New York Avenue in Huntington village on Tuesday. Photo from Huntington Fire Department

Huntington Town firefighters doused a blaze in the village that ravaged a two-story office building on Tuesday night.

Firefighters douse a blaze that overtook a two-story office building on New York Avenue in Huntington village on Tuesday. Photo from Huntington Fire Department
Firefighters douse a blaze that overtook a two-story office building on New York Avenue in Huntington village on Tuesday. Photo from Huntington Fire Department

The fire broke out at 191 New York Ave. at about 7:45 p.m., according to Steve Silverman, a spokesman for the Town of Huntington Fire Chiefs Council.

The building near Prime Avenue, called the Huntington Law Center, housed a number of law practices, including the Ten Haagen Financial Group and prominent local lawyers Jim Matthews, Jim Gaughran and John Leo.

The Huntington Fire Department responded to the call. The Centerport, Halesite and Huntington Manor fire departments assisted at the scene. The Cold Spring Harbor and Greenlawn fire departments provided standby coverage.

Huntington Fire Department Chief Robert Berry said about 65 local firefighters showed up to douse the blaze. Firefighters didn’t leave the scene until 10:30 p.m., he said.

The cause of the fire was unclear, but the heaviest part of the blaze was in the rear of the building, Berry said in a Wednesday phone interview. There was no damage to adjacent buildings.

“The whole second floor is destroyed and the first floor had severe water and smoke damage,” Berry said.

The town has placarded the building, meaning it is uninhabitable, according to town spokesman A.J. Carter. There is “major structural damage to the roof,” he said.

Ryan Frische mugshot from SCPD

Police arrested a man at a local motel after he allegedly stole prescription medication and cash from a Port Jefferson Station pharmacy on Tuesday morning.

According to the Suffolk County Police Department, Ryan Frische, an East Northport resident, first bought hypodermic needles at the pharmacy counter of the Rite Aid in Jefferson Plaza. He then allegedly made verbal demands and gave the clerk a note that demanded cash as well as “oxy.”

With three bottles of Oxycontin pills and cash, the suspect fled the store on foot, police said.

Officers interviewed witnesses and tracked Frische, 27, to the Americas Best Value Inn on Route 112, arresting him shortly after the incident.

The Elwood Road resident was charged with third-degree robbery and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Attorney information for the defendant was not immediately available. He was scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday.

Jeffrey Krieger mugshot from SCPD

Police arrested a relative of a man involved in a serious car crash on Sunday morning, after the man allegedly interfered with an investigation.

The Suffolk County Police Department said motorcyclist Ricardo Rivas, 53, was seriously injured in the crash, after a pickup truck turned into him at 9:25 a.m. Rivas had been riding a 2002 BMW south on Oakwood Road in Huntington Station when the pickup, a 2013 Chevrolet that had been traveling north on the same road, attempted to turn left onto West 22nd Street and struck him. Police identified the Chevrolet’s driver as 49-year-old Huntington resident Michael Fiordalisi.

About an hour later, police arrested a bystander at the scene, who is Fiordalisi’s family member, and charged him with second-degree obstruction of governmental administration. The SCPD said the suspect, 48-year-old Melville resident Jeffrey Krieger, repeatedly crossed police tape while trying to take photographs of the crash scene.

Rivas, a Huntington Station resident, was treated for serious but non-life-threatening injuries at Stony Brook University Hospital while Fiordalisi was treated at Huntington Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

Krieger, police said, was released on bail and was scheduled to be arraigned in July.

Attorney information for the defendant was not immediately available.

Police impounded both the BMW and the Chevrolet for safety checks.

Detectives from the SCPD’s 2nd Squad are investigating the incident. Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call them at 631-854-8252.

Police Officer Lance Prager with his son Joshua. Photo from Lance Prager

Suffolk County Police Officer Lance Prager, who also serves in the Army National Guard, will be hosting a charity event Saturday, where 93 percent of the proceeds go towards helping veterans.

Prager, 49, a father of three, is a retired chief warrant officer for the United States Marine Corps and has served three tours in Iraq. The current Suffolk County SWAT officer has a love for his country and the people who serve it, and is holding the event to help those in need.

The event will take place May 23 at the Checkmate Inn in East Setauket from noon to 5 p.m. There is a $20 donation at the door that includes two free beers, a free barbecue and a live band. There will also be 50/50 raffles and other prizes.

The money raised will go to the Semper Fi Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit set up to provide immediate financial support to post-Sept. 11 injured and critically ill members of the United States armed forces and their families. The group provides relief for financial needs that arise during hospitalization and recovery as well as assistance for those with perpetual needs.

“I’m so proud and honored to be associated with them,” Prager said.

The fund provides support for service members and their families, specialized and adaptive equipment, adaptive housing, transportation, education assistance, posttraumatic stress support and more. Since the fund began in 2003, it has raised millions of dollars to help thousands of wounded service members.

Veterans hold a special place in Prager’s heart. He took numerous leaves of absences from the police department to serve his country during the Iraq war.

In addition to the event he hosts annually, the service member also runs marathons to help raise money for the cause. This year he will run his sixth Marine Corps Marathon along with his 16-year-old son Joshua, who is running his first.

To learn more or to donate to the fund, visit www.Semperfifund.org.

The Kings Park woman charged with driving while intoxicated after a fatal Smithtown crash killed an Island Park man in March pleaded not guilty to a 12-count indictment on Wednesday, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said.

Natalia Simons, 36, was driving her Nissan Rogue north on Route 25A when she crossed over into the southbound lane around 12:05 a.m. on March 13, colliding with 59-year-old Larry Garwood’s Toyota Camry, Spota said.

Garwood, who worked as a radiology supervisor at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center, was taken to the same hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Spota said. Simons was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital via Smithtown Ambulance, police said.

Simons was charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, first-degree and second-degree vehicular manslaughter, second-degree assault, aggravated driving while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, speeding and failure to maintain a lane, the DA said.

She was released on $50,000 bail, Spota said.

Indebted
A Pagnotta Drive resident in Port Jefferson Station reported on May 11 that somebody used her debit card to make unauthorized purchases.

Punches and pies
A man reported a person hit the back of his head without reason while at a Port Jefferson pizza parlor on Main Street on May 16 at around 3:18 a.m. Police said the man suffered a minor laceration and was transported to St. Charles Hospital for treatment.

Possession and public lewdness
A 49-year-old Huntington Station woman and a 45-year-old Port Jefferson Station man were arrested in Port Jefferson on May 15 on public lewdness charges. According to police, the man was touching the woman’s breasts in view of the public. The woman was also charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, the muscle-relaxer carisoprodol.

Sharp objects
An unknown person used a sharp object to damage a 1994 Saturn while it was parked in front of an Ashland Street residence in Mount Sinai between May 13 and May 14.

Rolling
A Huntington Road resident in Sound Beach reported that between May 12 and May 13 a person took tires from his backyard.

Just leafy
A Sunburst Drive resident in Rocky Point reported a verbal dispute between himself and a neighbor, who pushed the complainant to the ground on May 15. According to police, the dispute was over leaves and the complainant wasn’t injured.

Graffiki Action Park
An unknown person spray-painted graffiti in Tiki Action Park on Middle Country Road in Centereach on May 14.

Knock, knock
A Gould Road resident in Centereach reported that on May 13 two males in their early 20s assaulted him after he answered his door. The suspects took cash from the complainant and fled. It was unclear if the victim required medical attention.

Window rocked
A Hammond Road resident in Centereach reported that unknown people threw rocks at her home’s window, shattering it, on May 11.

Tit for tattoo
A 57-year-old Centereach man was arrested for second-degree harassment, third-degree criminal mischief and acting in a manner to injure a child. Police said the man smashed a window, a lighted neon sign and a cigarette bucket at a Centereach tattoo shop during a May 11 incident.

Checked out
A Strauss Avenue resident in Selden reported on May 17 that an unknown person withdrew money from his checking account without permission.

Came out swinging
A man walking on Boyle Road in Selden on May 14 reported that another man got out of his vehicle and started to swing his fists at the complainant.

Sick and tired
A Firestone Complete Auto Care manager in Selden reported damage to the shop’s garage door and window, which occurred between May 12 and May 13. No property was stolen from the store.

My sediments exactly
The owner of a 1998 Jeep reported the driver’s side window was shattered by a rock found in the front seat on May 11. The car was parked on College Road in Selden and no items were taken from the vehicle.

Buzzed driving
A 44-year-old man from East Patchogue was arrested in Stony Brook and charged with driving while intoxicated and first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. Police said on May 17, the man was driving a 1990 Mercedes Benz in Stony Brook with a suspended license while intoxicated, and he was involved a motor vehicle crash at about 3:39 a.m.

Shopping spree
Police arrested a 20-year-old woman from Central Islip on May 15 and charged her with petit larceny. Police said she stole women’s accessories from a store at the Smithhaven Mall that day. She was arrested at 2:45 p.m.

Bottoms up
A 55-year-old woman from Centereach was arrested May 15 in East Setauket and charged with operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 of 1 percent, and driving while intoxicated. Police said the woman was driving a 1994 Honda westbound on Route 347, east of Arrowhead Lane in Setauket at about 4:50 p.m. when she rear-ended a van.

Get out of the way
Police arrested a 29-year-old Holtsville man on May 18 and charged him with second-degree reckless endangerment in a case of road rage. Police said he was driving a 1999 Jeep and followed a woman driving a 2014 Hyundai after she got off the Long Island Expressway and headed north on Nicolls Road. She changed lanes and he started tailgating her and honking his horn at her. When she changed her lane, police said the victim told them the man drove up next to her and threw a beer can at her window. Police also said the man pulled in front of her car, stopped abruptly and forced the woman to brake suddenly and drive onto the shoulder of the road. He was arrested at 6:55 p.m. at Nicolls Road and Portion Road in Farmingville.

Window smashed
An unknown person broke the driver-side front window of a 1995 Toyota parked on Stuyvesant Drive in East Setauket on May 17, sometime between 1:15 and 7 a.m.

A bat tip
Someone stole the tip jar next to the register at Se-port Delicatessen on Route 25A in Setauket at 1:25 p.m. on May 12.

Crime spree thwarted
A 21-year-old man from Islandia was arrested at the 4th Precinct on May 17 and charged with two petit larcenies, three grand larcenies and criminal possession of stolen property. Police said the charges stem from crimes that occurred from May 5 to May 17 in Islandia. Police said those crimes included: taking the middle console of an unlocked 2012 Ford F-150; taking a Nintendo game console and three games from an unlocked 2002 Saturn; stealing a Home Depot credit card from a 2005 Chrysler; stealing wallets containing identification and several credit cards from two separate cars; and possessing a stolen Apple iPod. He was arrested on South Bedford Avenue in Islandia.

Busted with heroin
Police arrested a 30-year-old woman from Patchogue on May 15 in Smithtown on Brooksite Drive and charged her with loitering and unlawful use of a controlled substance. Police said that she was loitering at the location at about 11:10 p.m. and she possessed heroin.

Golden arrest
A 60-year-old man from Nesconset was arrested in Smithtown and charged with seven counts of criminal possession of stolen property for various jewels he pawned off at a number of locations dating back to July 24. Police said he pawned off a number of chains, several bracelets, a beaded necklace, earrings and rings at Center Gold Pawn Shop on Middle Country Road in Centereach and Empire Pawn of Suffolk in Bayshore. He was arrested at the 4th Precinct on May 13 at 8 a.m.

Shopping flee
An 18-year-old from East Northport was arrested on May 15 and charged with petit larceny. Police said the man took assorted auto equipment, tools and food from Walmart on Crooked Hill Road in Commack, placed it in a shopping cart and fled the store. He was arrested at the 4th Precinct at 2 p.m.

Not that into you
Police said a 68-year-old woman from Kings Park was arrested in Kings Park on May 15 at 7:35 p.m. and charged with fourth-degree stalking, causing fear. Police said the woman mailed 10 cards and seven gift packages to another woman from Huntington Station sometime between Feb. 1 and May 5. She also hand-delivered three flower arrangements and drove past the woman’s home at least one additional time.

Fishy
Police arrested a Farmingville man on May 18 at 8:10 a.m. at the 4th Precinct and charged him with second-degree burglary. Police said the man entered a West Main Street apartment in Smithtown, smashed the door to the apartment, broke a fish tank, damaged the television and door jam and stole cash.

Wheeled away
An unknown male took a woman’s wheelchair left on the sidewalk in front of her home on Rogers Lane in Smithtown sometime between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. on May 12.

Car-less
Someone stole a 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee from the driveway of a Cherry Lane home in Smithtown sometime between May 13 at 5:50 p.m. and May 14 at 5:50 a.m.

Found with needle, pills
A 48-year-old man from Smithtown was arrested on May 16 in Smithtown on Brooksite Drive at 7:20 a.m. on May 16 and charged with possession of a hypodermic instrument and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Police said the man possessed a needle and Vicodin pills.

Failed escape
An 18-year-old man from Huntington was arrested at the 2nd Precinct on May 14 and charged with escape from a detention facility. Police said the man attempted to escape the precinct after being arrested, but cops couldn’t say what the warrant covered. Police said he was also charged with resisting arrest for pulling away from the officer in a violent manner while the officer was trying to arrest him on Broadway in Huntington at about 1:33 p.m.

Be right back
Police said a 30-year-old woman from Bethpage was arrested in East Northport and charged with operating a 2009 Pontiac G6 southbound on Stony Hollow Road and leaving the scene of an accident. Police said the woman struck a tree at Clay Pitts Road and Stony Hollow Road in East Northport on May 16, causing property damage, and left the scene without reporting it, at about 11 p.m.

Trespasser trounced
A 25-year-old man from East Northport was arrested in East Northport and charged with third-degree criminal trespass on May 16. Police said the man placed a metal pole against a fence enclosing Mother Earth’s Landscape & Masonry Supplies on Elwood Road in East Northport and climbed the fence on April 30 at 9:45 p.m. He was arrested at his home on May 16 at 4:01 p.m.

Sprite split at Sev-a-Lev
Someone stole a two-liter bottle of Sprite soda from 7-Eleven on Main Street in Huntington at 6 p.m. on May 16.

Caffeine crash
Police said an employee at Gulf Gas on East Main Street in Huntington reported he was punched near his left eye after telling a teenager who was with three other teens that a coffee cup was not for sale. The incident was reported to have occurred on May 15 at 8:54 p.m.

Bong bong into the room
Two unknown men wearing dark clothing and masks kicked in a side apartment on Tanyard Lane in Huntington at 4:31 p.m. on May 12, and when confronted by the male complainant, fled with cash and a pink bong.

Purse taken
A woman told police her purse was taken from the floor of the passenger side of a Hyundai Accent parked on Truesdale Court in Fort Salonga on May 12 sometime between 12:45 and 3:30 p.m.

Piercing
Police arrested a 19-year-old man from Huntington on May 14 in Huntington and charged him with first-degree criminal contempt and assault with intent to cause physical injury with a weapon. Police said the man stabbed another man with a knife in the stomach at a home on Lindsay Street in Huntington at 8:30 p.m. The victim required medical attention.

File photo

Police charged a woman with reckless endangerment after she allegedly fired a rifle from her apartment balcony on Monday evening.

According to the Suffolk County Police Department, the 26-year-old suspect, a resident of the Brookwood Village apartments in Coram, fired the rifle multiple times into a wooded area near her apartment on Dunstan Place at 6:53 p.m.

Police said no one was hit by the shots and there was no property damage.

Officers arrested suspect Suzanne Pesola and recovered two rifles and ammunition, police said. The woman was charged with second-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree criminal contempt.

Pesola has a previous charge pending against her, a harassment charge from late April. She was listed as being represented by Legal Aid in the New York State court system’s online database and attorney information on the newer charges was not immediately available.

Detectives from the SCPD’s 6th Squad are investigating the case. Anyone with information is asked to call them at 631-854-8652.

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