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2nd Precinct

James Garside's innovative signs helped save the like of a hiker in October 2017

Suffolk County police officer James Garside is honored by Huntington town officials March 20. Photo from Town of Huntington

Suffolk County police officer James Garside knows well that every second counts in an emergency.

That’s why he helped develop and implement innovate GPS-enabled trail markers at Cold Spring Harbor State Park. The trail markers played a critical role in saving the life of a heart attack victim last year.

“Officer Garside’s trail markers helped save that man’s life and improved public safety for all the park’s visitors and emergency responders,” Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci (R) said while presenting Garside with a proclamation at the March 20 town board meeting for his work .

Garside, an advanced medical technician, designed a system of trail markers to help emergency responders quickly locate injured hikers along the 1.14-mile long section of the greenbelt trail, which runs through the state park. It consists of 15 bright yellow arrow signs attached to trees, labeled 101 to 115, between Cold Spring Harbor High School and Cold Spring Harbor Library. The latitude and longitude of each sign has been publicly recorded.

On Oct. 15, 2017, a 47-year-old man suffered a heart heart attack approximately halfway along the trail, and made a critical call to 911 for help. Due to Garside’s trail markers, he was able to give responders his location within the 47-acre park.

“Critical minutes, even seconds were saved because of the trail markers,” the supervisor said.

A full map of the Cold Spring Harbor State Park trail and the location of the trail markers can be found at parks.ny.gov/parks/attachments/ColdSpringHarborTrailMap.pdf.

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File photo by Victoria Espinoza

By Alex Petroski

A Commack woman thought she could get out of a traffic ticket by calling, of all people, the police.

Marie Toussaint mugshot. Photo from SCPD

Suffolk County Police have arrested a woman who called 911 to falsely report seeing two men with guns in an effort to avoid receiving traffic summonses in Commack, according to police. This is the second time in a week that a person made a 911 call to report a false emergency, police said.

A 2nd Precinct police officer pulled over Marie Toussaint Oct. 23 at about 11:15 a.m. on Jericho Turnpike, near Larkfield Road, in Commack after he observed her driving a 2011 Toyota Highlander that did not have valid registration plates. When the officer returned to his vehicle to write Toussaint summonses, she called 911 and falsely reported two men with guns running down the street in the vicinity of the traffic stop. The fraudulent call elicited a large police response from 2nd and 4th Precincts officers. The officer that stopped Toussaint also responded to the call, releasing her without writing any summonses. After a thorough search of the area, the call was determined to be unfounded. Further investigation revealed that Toussaint made the call from her vehicle after being stopped by the 2nd Precinct police officer.

Toussaint, 40, of Commack, surrendered at the 2nd Precinct Oct. 31 at about 5 p.m. Second Precinct Crime Section officers arrested Toussaint and she was charged with third-degree falsely reporting an incident, and second-degree obstructing governmental administration. She will also receive four summonses for the original traffic infractions. She was released on bail and will be arraigned at First District Court Jan. 11, 2018.

 

File photo by Victoria Espinoza

A bicyclist was critically injured while riding in the center of the southbound lane of Route 110 in Huntington Station at about 8 p.m. Sept. 6, according to the Suffolk County Police Department. Suffolk County Police 2nd Squad detectives are investigating the incident.

Naeem Iqbal was driving a 2007 Honda Accord west on Broadway and crossing Route 110 when he struck Miguel Vilorio Ponce, 31, of Huntington Station, who was riding a bicycle in the center of Route 110 at about 8 p.m.

Ponce was transported via Huntington Community First Aid Squad in critical condition to Huntington Hospital. Iqbal, 42, of Huntington, was not injured.

The vehicle was impounded for a safety check and the investigation is continuing.  Anyone with information regarding this crash is asked to call the 2nd Squad at 631-854-8252.

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By Victoria Espinoza

Suffolk County Police arrested a man for allegedly driving while intoxicated and endangering the welfare of a child after he stole a vehicle. He also fled police and was involved in a motor vehicle crash in Melville early morning Aug. 5

A 2nd Precinct officer observed a man in a 2001 Ford driving recklessly south on New York Avenue at East 15th Street in Huntington Station at 3:12 a.m. The vehicle had been reported stolen from Bay Shore at about 2:30 a.m. An officer attempted to pull over the vehicle and the driver, Justice Bennett, fled. Bennett lost control and the vehicle overturned and crashed at Old Country Road, west of Ponderosa Drive, at 3:16 a.m., police said.

Bennett, 19, of Bay Shore, was transported by the Melville Fire Department to Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow for treatment of serious injuries. A 13-year-old passenger and two 14-year-old passengers in the vehicle were all transported by the Melville Fire Department to Nassau University Medical Center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

Second Squad detectives charged Bennett with criminal possession of stolen property, three counts of aggravated driving while intoxicated (Leandra’s Law), three counts of endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful fleeing of police. He is scheduled for arraignment at a later date.

The vehicle was impounded for a safety check and the investigation is continuing. No attorney information for Bennett was immediately available.

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Suffolk County Police Homicide Squad detectives are investigating the drowning deaths of twins in Melville Wednesday morning, July 26.

Second Precinct officers responded to 10 Holly Court at approximately 8:40 a.m. after a woman called 911 to report she pulled her 3-year-old son, Nicholas Aurilia, from the home’s in-ground pool and he was not breathing. The mother began to perform CPR on Nicholas and reported his twin brother was missing. When police and rescue personnel arrived, they located the boy’s twin, Anthony, in the pool.

The boys were transported by Melville Volunteer Fire Department to Plainview Hospital where they were pronounced dead. An autopsy will be performed by the Nassau County Medical Examiner.

Personnel from the Town of Huntington were notified to determine compliance with town regulations regarding the pool.

 

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Suffolk County Police arrested two women during a massage parlor raid conducted in Huntington Thursday, Feb. 16.

In response to numerous community complaints, Suffolk County Police 2nd Precinct Crime Section officers, Suffolk County Police Second Squad detectives, Suffolk County Police Criminal Intelligence detectives, U.S. Homeland Security officers and Huntington Code Enforcement officers conducted an investigation into illegal activities at Lucky Seven Spa, located on West Jericho Turnpike.

Jianping Qiao, 33, and Jinjuan Gu, 50, both from Flushing were arrested at approximately 3 p.m. and charged with unauthorized practice of a profession, a Class E Felony under the New York State Education Law:

An investigation by Town of Huntington Code Enforcement officers revealed numerous occupancy and town code violations. The investigation is continuing. The women are scheduled to be arraigned Friday, Feb. 17 at First District Court in Central Islip. No attorney information was immediately available.

 

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Suffolk County Police have arrested two women during a massage parlor raid conducted in Huntington Station Jan. 24.

In response to numerous community complaints, Suffolk County Police 2nd Precinct Crime Section officers, Suffolk County Police Criminal Intelligence Section detectives, Suffolk County Asset Forfeiture detectives, and Huntington Code Enforcement officers conducted an investigation into illegal activities at King Day Spa, located on 17 Semon Road in Huntington Station.

Xiao Feng Zhou, 50, and Xiao Hong Zhou, 47, both from Flushing, were arrested at 4:15 p.m. and charged with unauthorized practice of a profession, and a Class E felony under the NYS Education Law and Prostitution under the New York State Penal Law.

An investigation by Huntington Code Enforcement officers revealed numerous occupancy and town code violations. The investigation is continuing.

The women are scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip Jan. 24.

 

A view of one of the four cars involved in a car crash on Larkfield Road in East Northport. Photos by Steve Silverman.

Suffolk County Police Second Squad detectives are investigating a multi-vehicle crash that killed a woman and seriously injured a man in East Northport Dec. 26.

Officers said Karla Kovach, 52, was driving a 2008 Kia northbound on Larkfield Road, near 5th Avenue, when her vehicle hit a 2008 Nissan that was slowing in traffic at 9:50 p.m. The Nissan, driven by Darin Costello, 37, hit the side of Mario’s Pizza, on Larkfield Road. After striking the Nissan, the Kia spun into the rear of a 2013 Mercedes, driven by Elias Francois, 46, which forced the Mercedes into the rear of a 2011 Cadillac, which was stopped on Larkfield Road.

A view of one of the four cars involved in a car crash on Larkfield Road in East Northport. Photos by Steve Silverman.

East Northport firefighters used heavy rescue extrication tools to remove the victims from two of the cars. East Northport Fire Department was on the scene with three trucks, three ambulances and fire police, under the command of Chief Wayne Kaifler Jr. and Assistant Chief Dan Heffernan and Dan Flanagan. The Greenlawn Fire Department and Commack Volunteer Ambulance Corps assisted with two additional ambulances, while the Northport and Kings Park fire departments provided standby coverage at East Northport fire headquarters.

Kovach, of East Northport, was transported to Huntington Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Costello, of Northport, was transported to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore with serious injuries. François, of East Northport, and her two child passengers were transported to Huntington Hospital with minor injuries. The driver of the Cadillac, Anthony Nullet, 25, of East Northport, and his passenger were not injured. Both Commack Volunteer Ambulance Corps. and East Northport Fire Department responded and transported the victims to hospitals.

The Kia was impounded for a safety inspection.

The investigation is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Second Squad detectives at 631-854-8252.

Jeffrey Rice was arrested for burglarizing an occupied home in Cold Spring Harbor. Photo from SCPD

Suffolk County Police arrested a man for burglarizing an occupied home on Fox Hunt Lane in Cold Spring Harbor Nov. 25.

Officers said Jeffrey Rice entered an unlocked side door at approximately 11 p.m. on Nov. 24. Rice found a kitchen knife in the house and went upstairs into a room occupied by a 7-year-old girl and her 85-year-old aunt. Rice proceeded to assault the woman before exiting the room and being confronted by the 35-year-old female homeowner.

After a brief verbal altercation with the female homeowner, and a brief physical altercation with her 37-year-old husband, Rice was escorted outside the house by the husband and his brother and brother-in-law. The family held Rice outside until police arrived.

Second Precinct officers responded and arrested Rice, a Huntington Station resident. The aunt was transported to Huntington Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Second Squad detectives charged Rice with first-degree burglary. His next appearance in court is scheduled for Nov. 30 and attorney information was not immediately available.

SCPD Commissioner Tim Sini speaks at Charting the Course. Photo by Kevin Redding

The Suffolk County Police Department wants to help small businesses thrive and stay safe.

On Wednesday, Nov. 2, the Suffolk County Legislature brought its business forum “Charting the Course” to LaunchPad Huntington, where local business owners engaged with elected officials, key government agencies and neighboring business professionals in order to gain valuable information and address any challenges they might be facing.

Among the panel of speakers was SCPD Commissioner Timothy D. Sini, who said he hopes to establish a partnership between law enforcement and the private sector through a series of new programs and services. For businesses to do well in the community, he said, the community needs to be safe and people need to feel safe.

The department recently rolled out a program called SCPD Shield, which serves as a partnership between the police department and local businesses, community organizations, houses of worship and schools.

SCPD Shield is an information-sharing and civilian training program that narrows in on particular locations or individuals that might be causing issues in the community, in terms of crime or quality of life. For example, if there’s a specific location that’s been a hotbed for violence, the police department will then partner with the town and county to take an all-comprehensive approach to fix the problem directly.

An extension of NYPD Shield, this localized program trains businesses on how to reduce the likelihood of being victimized by street crime, terrorism and active shooter scenarios. It offers innovative training opportunities and information regarding crime patterns and trends in the area, with a large focus on what is undoubtedly a business’s worst nightmare: burglaries.

“We need to make sure that we’re constantly putting facts out there so that people are educated about what’s happening. If everyone has a stake in succeeding, everyone’s working towards a common goal.”
—Tim Sini

Sini encouraged all business owners in the room to go to the website, sign up and join the partnership. He said businesses are key when it comes to increasing public safety and enhancing quality of life.

“Businesses are the best partners for the police department because we all have a true stake in the safety of our community,” Sini said at the event. “We need to make sure that we’re constantly putting facts out there so that people are educated about what’s happening. If everyone has a stake in succeeding, everyone’s working towards a common goal.”

The police department will also be offering a variety of video surveillance services, one of which will plug a business’s security camera feed directly into their headquarters, so if there is an emergency situation, the department’s communications staff will be able to press a button and see exactly what’s happening at a given location, or in the vicinity of that location.

The police commissioner said sharing video surveillance will be critical when it comes to giving intelligence to officers responding to a scene and, of course, solving crimes quickly.

When it comes to video surveillance in general, Sini said that it’s important to have a setup that’s of good quality, a point that might seem obvious, but one that a lot of business owners overlook.

“Oftentimes, businesses will get very excited and say ‘I have video’ and we’ll look at the video, and the only thing we can tell is that, ‘yes, someone was in the store,’” he said. “We can’t tell what the person is doing, can’t tell the identity of the person or their race or gender because the video is so poor. So we can give tips as to what kinds of video surveillance to buy, and where to place it in your location.”

Robert Anthony Moore, director of security at Astoria Bank in Huntington and former police officer, expanded on the importance of practical security strategies.

“I want to talk about support activities because that’s really where you have the greatest personal impact and the greatest responsibility in what you can do and choose to do,” Moore said. “As business people, we have to ask … What is the problem that we’re facing?”

Moore said all criminals have three needs when it comes to committing their crimes; they need to be invisible, they need to be anonymous, and they need to see an opportunity to strike at a location.

Lighting inside a store is a simple and cost-effective way to reduce invisibility, in the daytime and especially at night. If a business owner can’t see into his or her business, they are increasing the invisibility of the bad guys and the risk that something could happen, said Moore.

When it comes to anonymity, he explained that if a criminal walks into a store and sees themselves on a big monitor upon entering, it considerably reduces the likelihood that they will try anything. According to Moore, it doesn’t even need to have a recording system attached to it to be effective. Just the fact that they see themselves has a deterring effect.

Sini ended by saying that he wants local businesses to be successful and safe.

“We think, at Suffolk County Police Department, the police should play a vital role in that process and objective.”

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