Police & Fire

Chad Morizsan pleads guilty to charges

Suffolk County Police Officer Nicholas Guerrero is released from Stony Brook University Hospital and transported to a rehab center. File photo by Barbara Donlon

A Northport man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to running down two Suffolk County police officers last year and critically injuring one of them.

Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota said that Chad Morizsan, who was sentenced on Thursday, July 23, waived his right to appeal and pleaded guilty to assault in the first degree, assault on a police officer, leaving the scene, grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, robbery in the second degree and forgery.

Last September, Morizsan sped off in a stolen SUV after being pulled over by officers Nicholas Guerrero and Heriberto Lugo at a traffic stop. He struck both officers as he fled the scene, critically injuring Guerrero.

Chad Morizsan. Photo from SCPD
Chad Morizsan. Photo from SCPD

Bob Clifford, a spokesman for Spota, said Guerrero was in the courtroom at Morizsan’s sentencing.

Guerrero was hospitalized for more than three weeks with a severe head injury at Stony Brook University Hospital. He underwent surgery and a regimen of physical therapy during his recovery.

He has been with the police department for four years. His partner, Lugo, was treated and released.

Once Morizsan fled the scene, along with his co-defendant and passenger Nicholas Franzone of Northport, police said they carjacked a Ford Explorer, stole the credit cards of the 87-year-old owner of the Explorer in her Commack driveway and stole gas from a gas station in the area.

The two were arrested at a Central Islip store hours later when police said they attempted to purchase a television with the woman’s stolen credit card.

Attorney Ian Fitzgerald, who is representing Franzone, has said that Franzone had nothing to do with the hit-and-run.

“He was in the back seat of the car,” Fitzgerald said in a previous interview. “He had nothing to do with Mr. Morizsan fleeing and injuring the officer … he had no control over the vehicle.”

Franzone is set to return to court on Aug. 4, charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle for his alleged role in the carjacking incident, police said.

Daniel Guttmann, who is listed in online court records as Morizsan’s attorney, didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment on Tuesday.

File photo

A pedestrian was killed while walking in the lanes of a busy Long Island road Sunday night.

The Suffolk County Police Department said 36-year-old Christopher Noselli was walking in Veterans Memorial Highway’s eastbound lanes near Old Townline Road around 9:20 p.m. when he was hit by a car that was traveling east.

Noselli was pronounced dead at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown, police said. The driver, a 25-year-old Smithtown woman, was not hurt.

Police impounded the car, a 2006 Nissan Murano, for a safety check.

Detectives from the SCPD’s 4th Squad are investigating the incident. Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call them at 631-854-8452.

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An SUV overturned in a wooded area in Port Jefferson Station early on Sunday morning, killing the driver.

The Suffolk County Police Department said the man was heading south on Route 112 in a gray 2004 Ford Explorer, near Washington Avenue, at about 4:20 a.m. when he lost control of the vehicle. He crossed over into the northbound side of the road, then left the roadway and overturned in a wooded area.

A physician assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner pronounced him dead at the scene, police said.

Police did not immediately identify the driver, as his next of kin had not yet been notified.

The SCPD impounded the Explorer for a safety check.

Detectives from the 6th Squad are investigating the single-car crash. Anyone who may have witnessed it is asked to call them at 631-854-8652.

Joan Beard mugshot from SCPD

Police arrested a Port Jefferson Station woman on Saturday night after finding her unresponsive in a car with her toddler, allegedly under the influence of drugs.

According to the Suffolk County Police Department, officers Michael Becker and Michael Cafarella from the 6th Precinct were responding to an anonymous 911 call about an unresponsive woman with a child in a car, parked at a Gulf station on Route 112 in Medford.

Becker and Cafarella arrived at about 7:30 p.m. and knocked on the car window, police said. The woman sitting in the driver’s seat, 31-year-old Joan Beard, did not respond to the knock but woke up when the officers opened the car door.

Police said Beard was under the influence of drugs, and was arrested.

Her 2-year-old daughter, who was in the backseat of the car, was unharmed. Child Protective Services was notified and the girl was released to family members, police said.

Beard was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Beard was listed on the New York State court system’s online database as representing herself and could not be reached for comment.

She has a previous charge pending against her as well, for possession of a hypodermic instrument.

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A motorcyclist was seriously injured early on Saturday morning when an SUV hit him as he was lying in the road.

The Suffolk County Police Department said 31-year-old Flushing resident James Dang lost control of his bike, a 2004 Suzuki, while riding north at about 1:35 a.m. on Moriches Road in Lake Grove, just south of Jericho Turnpike. He was lying in the road when a dark-colored SUV struck him and then fled the scene.

Dang was treated at Stony Brook University Hospital for serious injuries, police said.

Detectives from the SCPD’s 4th Squad are investigating the crash. Anyone who may have witnessed it is asked to call them at 631-854-8452 or to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-220-TIPS.

Following investigation, police apprehend man in Greenlawn

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A Centerport man who police said robbed three Suffolk County banks and attempted to hit a fourth in Huntington all in the same month was arrested on Friday morning in Greenlawn.

Police pored over video surveillance and multiple Crime Stoppers tips and ended up pinning Frank Marquez, 46, with the robbery of a TD Bank on Broadhollow Road in Farmingdale on July 7; the robbery of another TD Bank on Deer Park Avenue in Deer Park on July 14; and the July 21 robbery of a Capital One on Deer Park Avenue in North Babylon.

Police also said he tried to rob a People’s United Bank on E. Main Street in Huntington on July 14. At the time, police said a man in shorts, a white T-shirt and a red hat made verbal demands for money at the bank but fled after the teller did not comply. But he was successful 25 minutes later, when he allegedly showed up at the TD Bank on Deer Park Avenue and once again verbally demanded money from a teller.

Police said the teller gave the man money and he fled south from the Deer Park bank on foot. The suspect at the time was described as a Hispanic man with a gray goatee, between 40 and 45 years old, and between 5 foot 6 inches and 5 foot 7 inches tall with a medium build.

The Suffolk County Police Pattern Crime Unit detectives, with assistance from officers in the 2nd Precinct, found Marquez on Pulaski Road near Butterfield Drive in Greenlawn at 10:23 a.m. A detective from the Pattern Crime Unit said he was apprehended in his car, a 1994 Jeep Cherokee.

Marquez was charged with three counts of third-degree robbery, one count of attempted third-degree robbery and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, for driving with a suspended license.

Marquez is being held overnight and is scheduled for arraignment at First District Court in Central Islip on July 25.

Attorney information for Marquez wasn’t immediately available on Friday afternoon.

In threes
A group of young men were arrested in the early morning of July 16 and charged with second-degree robbery. According to police, a homeless 24-year-old, a 19-year-old from Stony Brook and an 18-year-old from Port Jefferson Station forcibly stole money from a person on Route 25A in Port Jefferson Station.

Quick cash
An unknown man pushed a woman to the ground and stole property from her by a bar in Port Jefferson Station on July 15 at around 4:15 a.m.

Failed getaway
Police arrested a 35-year-old Port Jefferson Station man in Port Jefferson on July 13 and charged him with second-degree criminal possession of a loaded firearm, third-degree possession of a narcotic with intent to sell, first-degree leaving the scene of a crash and second-degree obstructing government administration. According to police, at around 4:58 p.m. the man was instructed to shut down his vehicle when stopped at Old Town Road but instead drove north on Jayne Boulevard at a high speed. When he attempted to make a right onto Maple Avenue, he failed to stay to the right and collided with a 2013 Nissan, whose driver required medical attention. The man then fled on foot until apprehended by police. Police said the man possessed a loaded semiautomatic weapon and heroin.

Changing gears
An unknown person stole a bike right off the rack from the The Port Jeff Bike Dr. on Main Street in Port Jefferson on July 19, at around 2:10 p.m.

Can’t even
A woman assaulted another woman in the female bathroom at Portside Bar and Grill in Port Jefferson on July 18, at around 2:30 a.m. According to police, the suspect thought the victim said something negative about her, so she punched her. The victim was transported to John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson to receive medical treatment. No arrests have been made.

Old-fashioned fisticuffs
A 25-year-old Rocky Point man was arrested in Port Jefferson and charged with disorderly conduct on July 18 after he engaged in a fistfight with security personnel at Billie’s 1890 Saloon on Main Street.

Friendly fire
Two co-workers at Heritage Diner in Mount Sinai were involved in a tiff on July 18. Police said one worker swung a utensil at the other, causing a laceration to the person’s face. No arrests have been made.

ATM on-the-go
An unknown person broke the front door of a CVS Pharmacy on Route 25A in Miller Place on July 16, at around 2:17 a.m., and fled with the cash register.

Lawn games
An unknown person drove across a lawn on Harrison Avenue in Miller Place on July 15 at some point between 10:45 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

Homerun
A Hawkins Road home in Centereach reported a broken window above a front door on July 16 at 11 p.m. The damage was thought to be caused by a softball.

I’mrich
A 2013 Honda parked at a Ulrich Road home in Centereach was robbed of a wallet and credit cards at some point between July 14 and July 15.

Caught
A woman was given a field appearance ticket after attempting to take property from a Bob’s Store in Selden on July 19 at around 2 p.m. Police said the culprit tried to conceal a bathing suit and blender bottle in her bag.

Coffee buzz interrupted
Police said two men from the Bronx were arrested in South Setauket on July 15 and charged with third-degree burglary and possession of burglar tools. According to police, the men entered a Dunkin’ Donuts on Nesconset Highway at about 1 a.m. on July 15 and attempted to break into a safe. Police said they possessed a sledgehammer, a wedge tool and a pry bar.

Does this gift card buy drugs?
Two men were arrested on Pond Path in Setauket-East Setauket on July 15 and charged with loitering and unlawful use of a controlled substance. Police said the men, one 23 and the other 34 years old, were observed in a 2014 Honda at about 1:20 p.m. Police said the 23-year-old was observed exchanging a Home Depot gift card for heroin. The other man was seated in the passenger seat and possessed heroin.

Repeat burglar busted
An 18-year-old man from East Setauket was arrested on July 15 at 6:37 p.m. at his home and charged with two counts of second-degree burglary of a dwelling and one count of petit larceny. Police said that sometime between Feb. 1 and 28 the man stole master keys to an apartment complex on Jefferson Ferry Drive in South Setauket. Sometime between March 22 and March 31, he entered a residence using the stolen keys and stole property. He entered another Jefferson Ferry Drive residence on March 29 and stole jewelry.

Movie, popcorn, mischief
Someone broke the passenger-side front window of a 2015 Mercedes parked at AMC Loews Stony Brook 17 theater on Nesconset Highway in Stony Brook and stole Beats by Dre headphones, cash and cologne between 9:40 and 11:54 p.m. That same day, someone broke the window of a 2006 Ford F350 between 8 and 11:35 p.m. and stole tools from the same location.

Shattered window
Someone broke the rear passenger-side window of a 1994 Plymouth Voyager parked outside a home on Hollow Road in Stony Brook sometime between 8 p.m. on July 16 and 10 a.m. on July 17.

Jewelry box lifted
Someone snatched a jewelry box containing jewelry that was inside an unlocked 2006 Mercedes parked on Spring Meadow Road in Setauket-East Setauket sometime between 3:25 and 4:25 a.m. on July 19. There have been no arrests.

Car handle hulked
Someone ripped off the driver-side handle on a 2015 Ford Mustang parked on Adams Way at the Sayville Commons parking lot in Sayville. The incident happened on July 19 sometime between 12:05 and 12:50 p.m.

Phone jacked
Someone took an iPhone 4 and cash from an unlocked 2014 Honda CRV sometime between 6 p.m. on July 14 and 7 a.m. on July 15.

Bicyclist killed in Lake Ronkonkoma crash
Suffolk County police are investigating a motor vehicle crash that killed a Bohemia bicyclist in Lake Ronkonkoma on Tuesday evening.
Laura Heerbrandt, 23, of Ronkonkoma, was driving a 2014 Nissan eastbound on Portion Road when her car struck Luis Benitez, 51. According to police, Benitez swerved into her lane of traffic as he was traveling westbound on Portion Road.
Benitez was pronounced dead at the scene by a physician assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner. Heerbrandt was not injured.
The vehicle was impounded for a safety check and the investigation is continuing. Detectives are asking anyone with information about this crash to contact the Fourth Squad at 631-854-8452.

Armed robber hits Hauppauge 7-Eleven
A masked man robbed a 7-Eleven in Hauppauge early Monday morning, injuring the clerk on duty.
According to the Suffolk County Police Department, the masked suspect, who was also wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black pants and sunglasses, entered the convenience store on Townline Road shortly before 2 a.m., displayed what appeared to be a gun and demanded cash from the clerk. After the clerk complied, giving him cash from the drawer, the assailant fled on foot, heading west on Townline.
The clerk suffered a minor injury during the holdup, police said. He was treated at Stony Brook University Hospital and released.
Police described the robber as being about 6 feet tall and having a thin build.
Detectives from the SCPD’s 4th Squad are investigating the robbery. Anyone with information is asked to call them at 631-854-8452 or to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-220-TIPS.

Police search for man who stole $400 in clothes from Commack store
Suffolk County police and 4th Precinct Crime Section officers are seeking the public’s help in identifying and locating a man who stole merchandise from a Commack store last month.
The man stole assorted men’s clothing from Kohl’s at 45 Crooked Hill Road on June 2 at about 6:15 p.m. The clothing has a value of about $400.
Suffolk County Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest.
Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

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The suggestive advertisement offers cash-only massages in Smithtown. Screenshot from Backpage.com

An office building on West Jericho Turnpike in Smithtown was allegedly used as a front to house an illegal massage parlor, Smithtown officials said in a statement Wednesday.

Smithtown Public Safety fire marshals busted the parlor on July 19 around 2 p.m. operating out of 811 West Jericho Tpke. to find what Department Director Chief John Valentine described as an elaborate hidden facility with multiple bedrooms, each holding three to four young Asian women. Officials cited suggestive advertisements for the space on Backpage.com, promising patrons body rubs from Korean and Japanese girls for $60 to $70.

Smithtown fire marshals allege the office building at 811 West Jericho Tpke. housed an illegal massage parlor. Photo from Google Maps
Smithtown fire marshals allege the office building at 811 West Jericho Tpke. housed an illegal massage parlor. Photo from Google Maps

Valentine said the fire marshals acted in response to a request for assistance from the Smithtown Fire Department to find the parlor, filled with young Asian women in “various stages of undress.” Upon their entry, Valentine said a roughly 35-year-old Asian woman confronted the fire marshals and tried to block their entrance into the location.

“The unidentified females and several apparent patrons fled the location upon entry,” Valentine said. “Suffolk County Police 4th Precinct officers were contacted and responded to the location.”

Inside, officials found what Valentine described as suggestive advertising and photographs promoting the services. Subsequent online searches posted that same day on Backpage.com advertised a grand opening for cash-only massage services with several provocative photos of young Asian women. The posting was listed under a “Long Island body rubs” thread.

An ongoing investigation was put into motion through the Smithtown Public Safety Department and fire marshals have uncovered multiple violations of the fire and property maintenance codes as well as town code violations, including interfering with emergency personnel, Valentine said.

It was not clear whether criminal charges would be filed.

File photo.

A pedestrian was seriously injured in Huntington Station on Wednesday night as he tried to cross Jericho Turnpike.

The Suffolk County Police Department said 15-year-old Carlos Veliz-Hernandez was trying to cross the busy turnpike in his hometown, just west of Melville Road, when he was hit by a 2008 BMW at 9:15 p.m.

Carlos was in serious condition at Stony Brook University Hospital, police said, while the BMW’s 56-year-old driver, a Huntington Station resident, was not hurt.

Police impounded the BMW for safety checks.

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

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Photo from Jeff Bressler

The Smithtown Fire Department is in the final stages of having its historic 1935 Mack Ladder Truck fully restored. A Department Restoration Committee has been given the task of having this piece of Long Island history returned to its former glory.

The restoration is not using Fire Department funds or taxpayer dollars for the project. The entire restoration is being funded by the generosity of Smithtown Fire Department members and the general community.

For the second consecutive year the Restoration Committee will host a chicken barbecue at 5 p.m. on Aug. 1, featuring the sounds of South Bound, a popular Long Island country band. Entry is $25 in advance or $30 on the day of the event.

Last year’s event was enthusiastically received with hundreds of music lovers in attendance to enjoy a complete BBQ chicken dinner, hamburgers, hot dogs, soda, beer and wine. The event is held on the scenic Nissequogue River at the department’s River Property, located behind 419 West Main St., Smithtown.