Police & Fire

Suffolk County police car. File photo
Surveillance images from SCPD
Surveillance images from SCPD

A Huntington teller did not comply with a robber’s demands, so the suspect tried a different bank.

The Suffolk County Police Department said a man in shorts, a white T-shirt and a red hat made verbal demands for money at the People’s United Bank, on Huntington’s East Main Street, just before noon on Tuesday but fled after the teller did not comply. But he was successful 25 minutes later, when he allegedly showed up at a 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 was described as a Hispanic man with a gray goatee, between 40 and 45 years old, and 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 7 inches tall with a medium build.

Police said the same man had robbed a TD Bank in Farmingdale a week earlier, again verbally demanding cash from a teller and fleeing on foot after the teller complied.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential. Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward of up to $5,000 if information leads to an arrest.

Suffolk County police car. File photo

Police nabbed an alleged robber four days after they say he hit the HSBC bank in Port Jefferson Station.

The suspect, 32-year-old Peter Iatauro, was charged with third-degree robbery and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance on Tuesday. According to the Suffolk County Police Department, the Medford resident was found in possession of heroin.

Attorney information for Iatauro was not immediately available. He was scheduled for arraignment Wednesday.

Shortly after the robbery on July 10, police said they were on the hunt for a tall redhead who entered the HSBC, in Jefferson Plaza off of Route 112, and gave a teller a note demanding cash. Police said after the teller complied, the man fled south on foot.

At the time, police described the suspect as a white, 6-foot-tall male around 30 years old who was skinny and unshaven and had red hair. Police said he was wearing a white T-shirt and a red baseball cap at the time of the robbery.

Detectives from both the SCPD’s Pattern Crime Unit and its 6th Precinct Special Operations Team worked together to charge the suspect on Tuesday.

File photo.

A 7-year-old girl’s skull was fractured on Monday night when a driver, who was allegedly on drugs, crashed into a minivan in Hauppauge.

The Suffolk County Police Department said the incident occurred around 7:15 p.m., when 21-year-old Brandon Cumberbatch was driving south on Route 111 just past Kings Highway and hit the minivan, which was moving in the same direction. Inside the minivan were 40-year-old driver Arunima Singh and her two children, 18-year-old Avaneesh and 7-year-old Bhaswi.

After striking the van, police said, Cumberbatch, a Ridge resident, then veered onto the shoulder, over the curb and into the Hauppauge Plaza parking lot, where he hit a parked, unoccupied vehicle.

The family was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital, police said, where Arunima and Avaneesh Singh were treated for minor injuries and Bhaswi was listed in serious condition with a fractured skull and facial injuries.

Police arrested Cumberbatch and charged him with driving while impaired by drugs. He was under observation at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown and will be arraigned at a later date.

Attorney information for Cumberbatch was not immediately available.

Police impounded both the defendant’s vehicle, a 2002 Chevy Impala, and the 2008 Toyota minivan for safety checks.

Detectives from the SCPD Vehicular Crime Unit are investigating the crash.

Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is asked to call the detectives at 631-852-6555.

Christopher Foster mugshot from the DA's office

A Long Island man has been convicted of beating his month-old son to death and faces up to 25 years in prison.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, a jury convicted the 32-year-old Kings Park man of first-degree manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child four years after the boy, who was 43 days old, was killed.

The defendant, Christopher Foster, was found not guilty of second-degree murder.

The DA’s office said in a press release that an autopsy showed infant Jonathan Hertzler had suffered a fractured skull, four broken ribs and bruises on his face. When he died on Oct. 11, 2011, his fatal injuries had been caused by multiple blows.

Clarissa Hertzler, the boy’s mother, testified that Foster often became angry when the baby cried, the DA’s office said, and the infant “was a source of constant aggravation.”

According to the DA’s office, Assistant District Attorney Dana Brown told the jury that the night the baby died, Foster was the last person to hold him. She said Foster called his boss — not 911 — to report Jonathan was not breathing.

First-degree manslaughter is a Class B felony, and is defined as occurring when an adult intends to cause physical injury to someone younger than 11 years old and “recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of serious physical injury … and thereby causes the death of such a person,” the DA’s office said.

Foster was remanded to the county jail and will be sentenced on Sept. 8. He faces up to 25 years in state prison.

Police are looking for a tall redhead who they say robbed the HSBC bank in Port Jefferson Station.

According to the Suffolk County Police Department, the suspect entered the bank, in Jefferson Plaza off of Route 112, on Friday afternoon and gave a teller a note demanding cash.

After the teller complied, police said, the man fled south on foot.

The suspect was described as a white, 6-foot-tall male around 30 years old who was skinny and unshaven and had red hair. Police said he was wearing a white T-shirt and a red baseball cap at the time of the robbery.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-220-TIPS.

File photo

A motorcyclist was seriously injured in Huntington after colliding with a car driven by a Huntington Station teen on Thursday night, according to police.

Suffolk County Police said they are investigating the motor vehicle crash, which took place at New York Avenue and Prime Avenue in Huntington. Quincy Nelson, 17, was driving a 2005 Chrysler 300 southbound on New York Avenue when he made a left turn onto Prime, colliding with Lee Ownes, 33, of Brooklyn, who was driving a 1974 Honda motorcycle at about 9 p.m.

Owens was transported to a local hospital where he is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries for a dislocated shoulder and a sever laceration to his left leg. Nelson and his two male passengers were uninjured.

No tickets were issued. The vehicle and the motorcycle were impounded for safety checks and the investigation is continuing.

Detectives are asking anyone with information about this crash to contact Second Squad detectives at 631-854-8252.

File photo

A toxic one-gallon bottle of sodium hydrochlorite spilled in a FedEx car in Huntington village on Wednesday, impairing the driver’s ability to breathe.

At 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the Huntington Fire Department received a call from the Suffolk County Police Department regarding a hazardous materials incident on Green Street, according to Huntington Fire Department Chief Robert Berry. The department responded to the scene along with the Town of Islip HAZMAT TEAM. The team was able to secure the material.

The Fedex truck was carrying four one-gallon bottles of sodium hydrochlorite, an additive used in cleaning supplies, when one of the bottles opened and leaked in the truck.

The driver was transported to Huntington Hospital, Berry said, after having difficulty breathing.

FedEx didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment this week.

Car trouble
Things got a little crazy on Woodhull Avenue in Port Jefferson Station on July 4, at around 10:05 p.m., when someone threw items at a 2013 Hyundai and damaged a car door.

Midnight mischief
An unknown person slashed the driver side tire of a 2007 Hyundai parked on Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station on July 3.

Ride denied
A woman reported being harassed by a cab driver on June 30 at around 3 p.m. According to police, the complainant said she called a cab service to pick her up from a dollar store in Port Jefferson Station, but the driver refused to take her. He then allegedly pushed her and took her grocery bags out of the cab and drove away.

Poor house
An unknown person stole cash from the register at L.I. Pour House Bar and Grill in Port Jefferson Station on June 29 at around 1:30 a.m.

Explosive
A Mount Sinai Grasslands Circle resident reported their mailbox and garage door had been damaged by some sort of explosives on July 3.

Making waves
An unknown person took a 2006 motor from a boat moored in Mount Sinai Harbor on July 5 at some point between midnight and noon.

Seeing red
There were two separate road rage incidents in Centereach last week. According to police, on July 2, a victim was driving northbound on Nicolls Road by Hammond Road in Centereach when they encountered the suspect, who, at some point, punched the victim in the face. The suspect took off.
Two days later, on July 4, a female driver reported that while at an exit ramp of Nicolls Road in Centereach, six males on motorcycles began kicking her 2013 Hyundai and slashed its tires.

Getaway
A Fountain Avenue in Selden resident, outside his home on June 30, reported seeing someone walking with a satchel or pillowcase on his street. When he returned to his apartment, he found the suspect inside his residence. The two began fighting and the suspect fled with a stolen silver bracelet, kindle and phone charger.

Long weekend
A 21-year-old Mount Sinai resident was arrested in Selden and charged with DWI-first offense on July 3. According to police, the man was pulled over after he failed to stop at a stop sign while driving a 1998 Honda northbound on Bicycle Path.

Pills and pocketbooks
A 26-year-old Sound Beach man was arrested in Selden and charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and fourth-degree grand larceny. According to police, he was arrested on July 2 and was found in possession of Xanax without a prescription. Police said the man is also accused of breaking into a 2010 Volkswagen on June 25 in Port Jefferson and stealing a pocketbook containing credit cards.

Bank robber sought
Suffolk County Police are seeking the public’s help in identifying and locating a man who allegedly robbed a Centereach bank in June.
On Friday, June 26, a man entered the People’s United Bank, located on Middle Country Road, approached a teller at approximately 11:30 a.m. and presented a note demanding cash. The teller complied and the man fled on foot.
Police described the suspect as white, between 45 and 50 years old and approximately 5 feet 7 inches tall with a heavy build. He was wearing a black T-shirt, dark jeans, sunglasses and what appears to be a dark-colored baseball cap.
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.
For video of the bank robbery, go to www.YouTube.com/scpdtv. Click on the link “Wanted for Bank Robbery CC# 15-370331.”
Luck of the draw
Someone stole keys and Yu-Gi-Oh! collector cards from a 2009 Hyundai parked at AMC Loews Stony Brook 17 on Nesconset Highway in Stony Brook sometime between July 3 at 10:45 p.m. and July 4 at 1:30 a.m. There are no arrests.

Louis Vuitton bag stolen
Someone took a Louis Vuitton pocketbook, cash, a wallet and clothing from a 2015 Toyota 4Runner parked in the lot at Marshall’s on Nesconset Highway in Stony Brook. The incident happened sometime between 5 and 6 p.m. on July 1.

Laptop lifted
Police said someone took an Apple Macbook Pro computer from an unlocked 2002 Nissan Altima sometime between 6 and 7 p.m. on July 1 on Nesconset Highway in Stony Brook. There are no arrests.

Grandma scammed
A Setauket woman who is a resident of Francis Street told police on July 1 that she was the victim of a phone scam. She said someone called her saying her grandson was arrested after being involved in a car crash and that she needed to send money to get him home. She sent money via MoneyGram.

Checked out
Someone stole the identity of an Upper Sheep Pasture Road man from Setauket-East Setauket and took money from his JP Morgan Chase checking account. Police said the incident occurred sometime between June 2 at 9 a.m. and June 30 at 2:05 p.m.

Police search for pickpocket
Suffolk County Police are seeking the public’s help in identifying and locating a couple who are wanted for questioning in a grand larceny investigation in Commack.
A man and woman were shopping in Dress Gala, located on Jericho Turnpike, on May 21 at approximately 5:10 p.m. when the man reached into an employee’s pocketbook and stole credit cards.
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.

Shoplifter busted
Police said a 42-year-old man from Hauppauge was arrested on July 5 at the 4th Precinct and charged with petit larceny. According to police, the man stole a garbage pail, sleepwear, lunch bag, socks and other clothing from Walmart on Veterans Memorial Highway in Islandia on July 5 at 11:53 a.m.

That’s my $50
An 18-year-old man from St. James was arrested on July 3 at the 4th Precinct and charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. Police said that the man had $50 that belonged to someone else. The alleged crime occurred on Old Dock Road in Kings Park on July 1 at 11:30 p.m., police said.

Joy ride cut short
Police arrested a 20-year-old Commack man in Smithtown on July 2 and charged him with driving while ability impaired by drugs and alcohol — the drug being marijuana. Police said that on July 2 at 12:12 a.m., on Route 25A at West Jericho Turnpike in Smithtown, the man was driving a 1997 Ford and failed to maintain his lane. He was arrested at the scene.

Taking it off
A 50-year-old man from Middle Island was arrested at the 4th Precinct on July 2 and charged with lewdness — exposing his body in public. Police said the man exposed his private parts on June 30 while parked in a car at 7-Eleven on Motor Parkway in Hauppauge at 1:02 p.m.

Justice served
Police said they arrested a 27-year-old man from Astoria on July 1 who punched another man in the face while he was sitting in a chair at Napper Tandy’s on East Main Street in Smithtown on May 24. The man required medical attention for his injuries. The 27-year-old was arrested at the 4th Precinct at about 5:25 p.m.

A case of road rage
Two men who were involved in a car accident on Route 347 in Smithtown got into a fit of road rage, according to police. One man got out of the car and started yelling at the other man, grabbing him. The two eventually punched each other. Both plan to press charges, police said. The incident happened westbound on Route 347 on July 2, between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Crab Meadow Beach. Photo by Rohma Abbas

Strong winds left three kayakers lost and adrift on Tuesday before emergency responders brought them to shore, the Suffolk County Police Department said.

Michael Fisher, 16, his brother Matthew Fisher, 20, and Kevin Nobs, 16, all of East Northport, were a little more than one mile north of Crab Meadow Beach in Fort Salonga when police said winds picked up and brought them out into the Long Island Sound — too far for them to paddle back to shore. Nobs’ kayak had overturned while Matthew Fisher jumped out of his kayak to attempt to swim to shore, police said.

The three had become separated in the exchange, and were floating as two lifeguards at Crab Meadow Beach grabbed their long boards and jumped into the water to try and save them. They were, however, unsuccessful.

Marine Bureau Police officers Paul Carnival and Keith Walters responded to the incident and rescued all three kayakers along with the two lifeguards who tried to save them. The kayakers did not require medial attention, police said.

Asharoken Police Officer-in-Charge Ray Mahdesian inspects the damage to the rowboat. Photo by Steve Silverman

A pair of siblings jumped out of a rowboat moments before a 22-foot vessel struck it in Asharoken last Friday.

Asharoken Village Police responded to a boat collision in Duck Island Harbor on July 3 at 3:45 p.m. involving a MasterCraft boat that, while towing two water boarders, struck the rowboat, according to Steve Silverman, a spokesman for the police.

The rowboat was severely damaged and partially sank following the collision.

According to Silverman, the operator of the MasterCraft boat, Stephen Plackis of Huntington, was issued two summonses, one for operating a vessel without an Asharoken Village water ski permit, and one for unsafe boat operation.

Attempts to reach Plackis on Monday were unsuccessful.

Plackis took aboard the passengers of the rowboat, a boy and a girl from Asharoken, after the collision. They were able to retrieve the submerged boat and tow it to shore.

The Northport Fire Department Rescue Squad transported the male in the rowboat to Huntington Hospital for observation, where he was later released. Plackis, his four passengers and two wake boarders were uninjured.

This version of the article corrects Steve Silverman’s title. 

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