Police & Fire

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Three horses reportedly found ‘emaciated and sick’

One of the horses is so sick, its ribs are visible through the skin. Photo from Suffolk SPCA

The Suffolk County SPCA has charged a Hauppauge woman with animal cruelty after her horses were found to be emaciated and sick.

Helen Malazzo. Photo from Suffolk SPCA
Helen Malazzo. Photo from Suffolk SPCA

SPCA Chief Roy Gross said that Helen Malazzo, 61, of Hauppauge, kept three horses at a boarding facility at 193 South St., Manorville, that had no running water on the property. After being examined by a veterinarian, one of the horses was found to be so sick and emaciated that he wasn’t sure it would survive without immediate veterinary care, Gross said. The other two horses were also allegedly neglected. 

Gross also said that the SPCA seized all three horses and they are now in foster care receiving the proper attention. Malazzo returns to First District Court in Central Islip on Oct. 5.

Gross asked the public to help cover the veterinary care for the three horses by making donations to the Suffolk County SPCA. All donations are tax deductible to the extend permitted by law.

Fire district offering $1,000 reward

The Lake Grove playground that was set on fire on Sunday, July 26. Photo from Centereach Fire District

The Centereach Fire District is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for burning down a playground at Eugene Auer Elementary School.

On Sunday, July 26, Centereach firefighters responded to a call for a fire behind the Lake Grove school, according to a press release from the fire district. The plastic playground was fully engulfed, but the fire quickly put out. However, the playground was destroyed.

“This wasn’t just any playground,” Fire Commissioner Julia Wilson said. “The community pitched in, joined together and raised money to erect it.”

The Suffolk County Police Department is investigating the Sunday night incident.

The board of fire commissioners unanimously voted to offer a $1,000 reward at their meeting last week. Anyone with information related to the crime, is asked to call Suffolk County Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS (8477) or submit the information electronically at www.tipsubmit.com.

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Debate focuses on bar fights downtown, narcotics uptown

Residents and village officials butted heads with a police lieutenant on Monday night, debating the level of coverage officers provide in Port Jefferson.

The downtown commercial district, with its numerous bars and restaurants, is busy on summer nights, particularly on the weekend. Village officials have lobbied over the years to increase Suffolk County police presence downtown during those peak times, and to have more bodies in the uptown area, which sees criminal activity such as drug sales and has a consistent homeless population.

Lt. Donato Mignone said at the village board meeting Monday that there are additional officers patrolling Port Jefferson on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, pointing out that the village gets more police coverage relative to its number of police incidents. Mignone said of the 7,800 incidents the Suffolk County Police Department’s 6th Precinct handled in July, 385 of them were in Port Jefferson.

While he agreed the village deserves more attention than it gets, the department is working with limited resources and “you want to be wise with your manpower.”

But Trustee Larry LaPointe argued, “If you’re not here, there is no incident to report. If a tree falls in the woods and nobody’s there to hear it, the tree didn’t fall. That’s what’s happening in this village.”

The trustee called for more police coverage.

“There’s too much violence downtown,” LaPointe said.

The lieutenant said he would pass on the village’s concerns to his superiors. He added, “I absolutely understand, I agree, I commiserate.”

Later in the meeting, after Mignone left, LaPointe said the village might take its fight to a higher level, like the county executive’s office, if things don’t change.

“It’s their job to keep our community safe,” the trustee said. “We will exhaust every possible avenue that we can think of to bring our needs and our concerns to their attention and to push our case as hard as we can.”

Sketch from SCPD

Police have released a sketch of the woman whose skeletal remains were found near a stretch of the Greenway Trail earlier this year, and are asking for the public’s help to identify her.

The human remains were found on March 22 around 4 p.m., near a stretch of the 3.5-mile hiking and biking trail — which connects Setauket and Port Jefferson Station — off of Gnarled Hollow Road. At the time, police could not confirm whether the person was a male or female and had not determined a cause of death. But the Suffolk County Police Department said Aug. 4 that the deceased was a woman, believed to have been white or Hispanic and between 30 and 50 years old. She was between 5 feet 3 inches and 5 feet 9 inches tall and had poor dental work, police said.

Police, asking for help to identify her, said her remains are believed to have been at the location for about a year.

Anyone with information is asked to call homicide detectives at 631-852-6392, or to anonymously call Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS.

Severe weather toppled trees and downed power lines across the North Shore on Tuesday morning, leaving roads unnavigable and residents without electricity in areas including Port Jefferson, Setauket, Smithtown and Stony Brook.

The National Weather Service sent out three separate thunderstorm warnings in the early morning hours between 4 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. citing reports of hail, thunderstorms and wind damage with trees falling onto homes and power lines down throughout the Port Jefferson area. By daybreak, intense winds and rain made way for a sunny morning that revealed the aftermath of the storm. Trees were in the streets and traffic lights had gone black.

By 11 a.m. on Tuesday, utility PSEG Long Island reported more than 20,000 customers in Brookhaven Town without power and more than 8,000 in Smithtown. Over 42,000 customers were affected in total and as of 10:30 a.m. 38,027 are without power throughout Long Island and the Rockaways, PSEG said.

Route 25A in East Setauket was a hotbed of activity on Tuesday morning, and the Suffolk County Police Department urged drivers to treat outed traffic lights as stop signs in lieu of electricity. In fact, SCPD requested all drivers to completely avoid Route 25A all together on Tuesday morning in Port Jefferson, Setauket and Stony Brook as various road closures were underway to remove trees from the streets. By 10:30 a.m., SCPD announced that Route 25A was closed in both directions between Franklin Street and Stony Hill Road in Port Jefferson.

Lights along Nicolls Road in Stony Brook, and all lights from Nicolls Road on Route 25A stretching to Main Street in Setauket were out this morning. Tree and leaves were strewn across Route 25A, and traffic moved slowly along the thoroughfare in the Setauket and Stony Brook areas. SCPD cars were a common sight. The lights were out at many businesses along Main Street in Stony Brook.

In a statement, Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine said he was working with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office to coordinate resources to respond to hard-hit areas.

“The storm that hit this morning caused extensive damage and power outages throughout the North Shore, and I have authorized all resources from Parks and Waste Management Departments to assist the Highway Department in the clean-up effort,” he said. “Our Emergency Operations Center was activated at 6:30 a.m. and currently, a PSEG representative is coordinating efforts to restore power to more than 21,000 Brookhaven residents.”

The Smithtown Fire Department responded to a call of the first of many downed power lines at 5:01 a.m., according to spokesman Jeff Bressler. The alarms were the result of a quick-moving powerful storm that made its way through the Smithtown area. As of 8:43 a.m., eight calls were dispatched for wires in addition to a CO activation and a mutual aid to a structural fire in St. James, Bressler said.

The National Weather Service also issued a coastal hazard message as the storm battered the North Shore, warning residents to watch out for strong rip currents flowing away from the shorelines.

Rohma Abbas contributed to this report.

Tweet us your updates on the aftermath of the storm @TBRNewspapers.

Send us your storm photos to News@TBRNewspapers.com.

DA to recommend maximum prison term

Maureen Myles. Photo from Suffolk DA's office

An East Northport woman has been convicted of stealing $30,000 meant to fund a van with a wheelchair lift for a Huntington teen with cerebral palsy.

Maureen Myles, 62, was convicted on Friday of grand larceny, scheme to defraud and petit larceny following a seven-day trial in Central Islip, according to Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota’s office. DA detective-investigators arrested Myles in December 2013 for making off with the money, which donors raised at a benefit dinner in Northport.

The DA’s office said State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho found Myles guilty of one count of third-degree grand larceny, two counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, scheme to defraud and petit larceny.

Myles was previously convicted of a felony — in 2004, a jury found her guilty of grand larceny and scheme to defraud, for buying $40,000 worth of Bermuda cruise tickets using credit card numbers she stole from her employer, according to the DA.

Spota said the office will recommend the maximum prison term of three and a half to seven years when Myles is sentenced on Sept. 2.

Myles’ attorney, Garden City-based Richard Benson, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on Monday.

File photo.

A pedestrian was seriously hurt on Saturday night as he tried to cross New York Avenue in Huntington Station.

The Suffolk County Police Department said 20-year-old Antonio Molina was hit by a Jeep on the road, just north of East 18th Street, shortly before 11 p.m. and is now in serious condition at Stony Brook University Hospital.

The 2002 Jeep had been driving north on New York Avenue at the time of the crash, police said, and its 26-year-old driver was not hurt.

Both the pedestrian and the driver are Huntington Station residents.

Police impounded the Jeep for a safety check.

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

Exploring
A 2004 Ford Explorer was stolen after its owner left the vehicle and went to an ATM on Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station on July 26 at around 1 a.m. A wallet containing credit cards was left in the car, and police said the cards were used.

Not kool, man
An unknown masked man demanded money and took off with the whole cash register from the Kool Mart on Hallock Avenue in Port Jefferson Station, at around 9:20 p.m. on July 21.

Forgetful
A wallet left behind at a 7-Eleven on Old Town Road in Port Jefferson Station didn’t make it back to its owner. Police said the owner reported returning to the convenience store on July 20 to find someone else took it.

Bumper cars
A 51-year-old Port Jefferson Station woman was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an incident involving property damage on July 21. According to police, the woman was driving a 2013 Chevy Traverse on July 1 in Setauket when she struck the right side of the rear bumper on a 2006 Honda minivan and fled the scene.

Shattered
A resident on Main Street in Port Jefferson awoke to glass breaking at around 3 a.m. on July 26 and reported a door pane had been broken.

Knocked down
A man was knocked unconscious on West Broadway in Port Jefferson at around 1:40 a.m. on July 25. Police said the man was punched in the face, fell on the pavement and struck his head. He was transported to a local hospital for medical treatment.

Not fast enough
A woman who had dropped her cell phone in a Miller Place parking lot on Route 25A on July 20 reported that someone else claimed and took the phone before she returned.

Garden Road getaway
A Garden Road resident in Rocky Point returned home on July 20 at around 3:30 p.m. to find the front door open and several items, including two flat-screen TVs, jewelry and an Xbox 360, stolen.

Game on
At around 8:30 p.m. on July 25, a man entered a Game Stop in Centereach and demanded cash. Police said he displayed what appeared to be a weapon wrapped in a white cloth. The store clerk obliged and the man fled with cash.

Mission: Impossible
At around 10:30 p.m. on July 21 an unknown person or persons broke through the wall of a Middle Country Road store in Centereach to gain entry to the adjacent shop and attempted to pry open a vault there but was unsuccessful.

Dine and dash
Someone stole a leather wallet from a 2006 Toyota parked at the Suffolk Diner in Centereach at around 1 p.m. on July 20.

It’s personal
A 24-year-old Middle Island woman was arrested in Selden on July 22 and charged with second-degree forgery after she forged a signature on a personal check and chased it.

Off-road thief
A Clearview Avenue resident in Selden reported on July 24 that between 1 and 6 a.m. someone stole a 2005 Yamaha ATV from the backyard.

A quick DWI
Police said a 22-year-old man from Setauket was arrested in Stony Brook on July 25 at 1:42 a.m. and charged with driving while intoxicated. Police said the man was pulled over driving north on County Road 97 in Stony Brook because he was speeding.

DWI crash
A 23-year-old woman from North Massapequa was arrested in Stony Brook on July 24 and charged with driving while intoxicated after being involved in a motor vehicle crash. Police said the woman was driving a 2014 Nissan southbound on Quaker Path in Stony Brook at about 6 p.m. when she was involved in the crash.

Tablet grab
Someone entered an unlocked 2010 Honda Civic parked at a Bentley Lane home in Stony Brook on July 25 and stole an iPad tablet. The incident occurred sometime between 5:13 and 8 p.m.

That Chase
Someone stole money from the Chase bank account of someone who lives on Pheasant Court in Stony Brook. The incident happened sometime around 9:18 p.m. on July 24.

Infiniti window shattered
Someone entered a locked 2012 Infiniti by shattering the rear driver side window and stole money from the car. The car was parked at World Gym in Setauket on Mark Tree Road. The incident happened sometime between 2 and 3 p.m. on July 24.

Stop & Punch
Police said a woman reported that a man punched her in the face while at Stop & Shop on Route 25A in Setauket-East Setauket on July 24 at 9 p.m. She said the punch caused a cut lip.

Stop for a DWI
A 32-year-old man from Medford was arrested in Smithtown on July 25 at about 2:30 a.m. and charged with driving while intoxicated. Police said he was pulled over at Route 25 and Terry Road in Smithtown after failing to stop for a red traffic light.

To the left, to the left
Police said a 34-year-old man from Nesconset was arrested on July 23 at 12:07 a.m. and charged with driving while intoxicated. According to police, the man, who was driving westbound on Lake Avenue in Nesconset, was pulled over after he failed to signal left and was observed speeding.

Sloppy DWI
A 20-year-old woman from Setauket was arrested in Nesconset on July 23 and charged with driving while intoxicated. Police said she was driving eastbound on Route 25 at 2:20 a.m. in a 2009 Jeep and failed to maintain a single lane of travel, driving onto the shoulder of the road.

Missing jewels
Someone stole a jewelry box on the bathroom vanity of a home on Nissequogue River Road in Smithtown sometime between July 25 at 10 a.m. and July 26 at 9 a.m.

Hotel heist
A woman from Madison Street in Smithtown told police she gave someone a deposit on what she thought was a six-night stay at a hotel, but the person had no connection to the hotel. The bank transfer occurred on July 17 at about 10 p.m.

Car parts jacked
Tires and rims were stolen off of a 2015 Chevy parked at Enterprise Rent-A-Car on East Main Street in Smithtown on July 21 at 8:45 p.m.

A dark day
Someone took Ray-Ban and red Maui Jim sunglasses and jewelry by breaking a rear driver-side window of a BMW parked at Carrabba’s Italian Grill on Smithtown Bypass in Smithtown on July 22.

School graffiti reported
An unknown person made graffiti at the R.J.O. Intermediate School on Old Dock Road in Kings Park by spray-painting two walls sometime between noon and 1:49 p.m. on July 25.

Cadillac grab
Someone stole a 2009 Cadillac containing property from St. Johnland Nursing Center on Sunken Meadow Road in Kings Park sometime on July 23 at 11:20 p.m. to July 24 at 8:30 a.m.

Lights out
Someone damaged the left taillights of two vehicles on Ellen Place in Kings Park on July 23 sometime between 11:30 and 11:45 p.m. There have been no arrests.

Red ribbons are one way North Shore residents are remembering the fatal crash victims. Photo from Smithtown Historical Society

One week has passed, but no amount of time can ever truly heal the wounds endured by the greater North Shore community since four of its own were killed in a horrific limousine crash.

Anyone driving through the streets of Smithtown and its surrounding communities this week could notice the red ribbons wrapped around trees in memory of Smithtown’s Brittney Schulman, 23, and Lauren Baruch, 24, as well as Stephanie Belli, 23, of Kings Park, and Amy Grabina, 23, of Commack. The four girls were killed when Steven Romeo, 55, T-boned their limousine with his pickup truck in Cutchogue last Saturday, injuring Romeo, along with limo driver Carlos Pino, 58, of Bethpage, Joelle Dimonte, 25, of Elwood, Melissa Angela Crai, 23, of Scarsdale, Alicia Arundel, 24, of Setauket, and Olga Lipets, 24, of Brooklyn.

After the crash, Romeo was arraigned at Eastern Long Island Hospital and charged with driving while intoxicated. He was initially ordered held in lieu of $500,000 cash bail, or $1 million bond, but that bail was reduced to $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond last Thursday, according to Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota. At a press conference on Friday, Spota said Romeo had recorded a blood alcohol content of .066 percent when he was tested roughly one hour after the crash. The DWI charge, however, was not dropped despite his BAC coming in below the legal limit of .08, Spota said. No additional charges were filed against Romeo as the investigation continued.

Romeo’s court date, which was originally set for last week, was adjourned to Sept. 18.

The past week saw the funerals of all four of the victims, while those injured were released from hospital care by the middle of this week. The North Shore community planned to take one of its first steps toward closure on Wednesday night at Smithtown High School West, where residents, elected officials and members of Mothers Against Drunk Driving were scheduled to meet. The event was borne out of a Facebook page titled “Candlelight Vigil for Our Girls,” which was put into action in the days following the tragedy. By Wednesday, the page had collected more than 6,000 names to its roster and countless photos of mourning and support for the victims’ families.

Marianne Howard, executive director with the Smithtown Historical Society, was one of the several Smithtown residents to tie red ribbons around trees in front of the society’s property. She said various businesses throughout town, including Towers Flowers of Nesconset and James Cress Florist of Smithtown, helped donate the ribbons to the cause.

“We mourn the loss of four beautiful souls who were taken too early from our community,” she said. “We send our deepest condolences to their families and friends. May they rest in peace.”

Chabad at Stony Brook also signed onto the cause of finding good in a tragic situation, launching its own Facebook event page, “responding to dark, with light,” in memory of the four girls and challenging residents to commit 400 random acts of goodness and kindness in their honor.

Chaya Klein Grossbaum of Chabad at Stony Brook said once the goal was reached, the group would print a book detailing each singular act.

An aggressive crocodile was found in an open cardboard box in a Melville parking lot and handed over to officials at the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on Tuesday, officials said.

The three-foot-long croc, discovered at 25 Melville Park Rd., was “very aggressive and its mouth had to be taped shut,” according to a statement from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Chief Roy Gross said that Jerry Mosca, the director of the Huntington Town Animal Shelter, and another animal control officer, responded to an anonymous call about the crocodile. Mosca didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on Tuesday afternoon.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Police and Suffolk County SPCA investigators will team up to get to the bottom of who left the crocodile in the parking lot, according to the statement.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Suffolk County SPCA at (631) 382-7722. All calls will be kept confidential.

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