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Suffolk County Police Department

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A 10-year-old Kings Park boy struck by an SUV on his way to the school bus was airlifted to Stony Brook Hospital with serious injuries, according to Suffolk County Police.

Police said a William T. Rogers Middle School student was walking across First Avenue, near Carlson Avenue, at about 7:54 a.m. Sept. 15 to board his school bus, police said. The bus had its flashing red lights on and stop sign activated to warn approaching motorists.

Pasquale Izzo, 81, of Kings Park, was driving a 1998 Dodge Durango northbound on First Avenue when he allegedly attempted to pass the school bus, and ignored its flashing lights. Izzo failed to stop his vehicle and struck the student, according to police.

NYSDMV on sharing the road with buses

  • When a stopped school bus flashes its red light(s), traffic that approaches from either direction, even in front of the school and in school parking lots, vehicles must stop before it reaching the bus. Drivers should stop at least 20 feet away from the bus.
  • Before a school bus stops to load or discharge passengers, the driver will usually flash yellow warning lights. Then, decrease speed and be prepared to stop.
  • When you stop for a school bus, do not drive again until the red lights stop flashing or when the bus driver or a traffic officer signals the you can proceed.. You must stop for a school bus even if it is on the opposite side of a divided highway.
  • After stopping for a school bus, look for children along the side of the road. Drive slowly until have passed them.

The 10-year-old boy was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital with serious, but not life-threatening injuries, according to police. Izzo was not injured.

Kings Park Superintendent Timothy Eagen notified district parents that it has additional mental health staff available at the middle school to provide additional support to those students who witnessed the accident, students who know the injured student and anyone else as needed.

“Unfortunately, this incident is a terrible reminder that we cannot always assume that motorists will follow traffic safety rules at all times,” Eagen said in a message posted on the district’s website.

Under New York State Law, drivers who pass a stopped school bus can be fined $250 for the first violation and face up to a maximum fine of $1,000 for three violations in less than three years. Individuals convicted of three violations in a three-year span may have their driver’s license revoked.

Kings Park School District announced the bus’s route has been changed in effort to avoid any potential future tragic accidents at the intersection, and so the student involved and those who witnessed the accident don’t have to return to the scene of the accident on a daily basis.

The neighboring Commack Union-Free School District sent out an email to parents reminding them to, “Please drive slowly with no distractions, and be especially vigilant of where our precious children are playing, walking, riding or standing.”

Most school bus-related deaths and injuries occur when children are loading or unloading from a bus, according to New York State Department of Motor Vehicle’s website, not in collisions that involve school buses.

The driver’s vehicle has been impounded for safety checks and the incident is under investigation. Suffolk County’s 4th Squad Detectives are asking anyone who witnessed the accident to call 631-854-8452.

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.

Peter Crawford. Photo form SCPD

About 60 underage people attended a party at a home on Dogwood Lane in Port Jefferson July 21, and some were observed drinking alcohol, according to Suffolk County Police. A 20-year-old resident of the home was arrested and charged with violating the Social Host Law.

Sixth Precinct Patrol officers responded to a complaint of a loud party at 112 Dogwood Lane at approximately 11:15 p.m. Friday, July 21. When police arrived, there were approximately 60 underage people at the residence, and underage drinking was observed.

Police arrested and charged the host, Peter Crawford, 20, with violating the Social Host Law. He was transported to the 6th Precinct, where he was released on bail. Crawford is scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip Sept. 9.  Attorney information for Crawford was not immediately available.

Joseph Wilko. Photo from SCPD

A 25-year-old man from Medford was arrested at his home July 13 for his alleged involvement in a May 15 burglary in Port Jefferson and a June 27 burglary in Coram, the second of which resulted in a victim being shot multiple times, according to the Suffolk County Police Department. Following an investigation, 6th Squad detectives located the man, Joseph Wilko, at his home in Medford and placed him under arrest at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

The first burglary occurred at an occupied home on Sheep Pasture Road in Port Jeff May 15 just before midnight. Three men entered the home, assaulted the homeowner, and stole money and a pickup truck, police said. The homeowner, a male, was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

During the second burglary, a 24-year-old man was shot multiple times inside the victim’s apartment, located on Kiowa Court in Coram, at about 10 p.m. June 27. The victim was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

Wilko was charged with two counts of first-degree burglary, first-degree assault and second-degree assault.

The investigation is ongoing. The 6th Squad is seeking the public’s help in finding additional suspects in connection with the burglaries. Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call the 6th Squad at (631) 854-8652 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

Wilko was held at the 6th Precinct and was scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip, July 14. Attorney information for Wilko was not immediately available.

Alan Lepre mugshot. Photo from SCPD

Suffolk County police arrested Alan Lepre, 54, of formerly of East Northport, for robbery, grand larceny, and petit larceny.

The 2nd Precinct crime section arrested Lepre and charged him with:

  • Petit larceny at Mavis tire Larkfield Road in East Northport June 20
  • Petit larceny at Sheer Elegance on Larkfield Road in East Northport June 12
  • Petit larceny at Broadway Grooming on Broadway in Greenlawn June 27
  • Seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance for possessing heroin during his arrest.

The major case unit charged him with:

  • Third-degree robbery for the robbery of TD Bank on Montauk Highway in West Islip July 2
  • Third-degree robbery for the robbery of Suffolk Federal Credit Union on Jericho Turnpike in Commack July 5

The 2nd and 4th Precinct squad detectives charged him with:

  • Third-degree grand larceny for the theft of a motor vehicle from the Northport train station June 29
  • Fourth-degree grand larceny at Curtains and Home on Veterans Highway in Commack June 28
  • Fourth-degree grand larceny at Larkfield Lanes in East Northport June 20

A fire broke out at Hair Port Salon in Port Jefferson July 5. Photo by Dennis Whittam

A fire broke out early Wednesday morning at Hair Port Salon, located on Main Street in Port Jefferson between Arden Place and East Main Street.

The commercial building fire started around 8 a.m. July 5, according to Suffolk County Police. The Port Jefferson Fire Department responded to the blaze. The SCPD Arson Section is investigating the incident, though it appears to be non-criminal, according to police. Police said no one was injured.

Subway on Old Town Road in Port Jefferson Station was robbed July 6, according to SCPD. Image from Google Maps

A Subway sandwich shop on Old Town Road in Port Jefferson Station was robbed Thursday night, July 6, according to the Suffolk County Police Department.

“Suffolk County Police 6th Squad detectives are investigating a robbery that occurred in Port Jefferson Station this evening,” Assistant Police Commissioner Justin Meyers said in an email through a police spokesperson. “A man robbed the Subway located 681 Old Town Road at approximately 5:45 p.m. The man fled with cash. The investigation is continuing.”

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A resident of a Port Jefferson Station group home intentionally lit a fire at the facility, located on Poplar Street, during the afternoon July 3, according to the Suffolk County Police Department. A 6th Precinct Police Officer extinguished the fire.

Sixth Precinct Patrol Officer Joanna Westrack responded to call of a house fire at a congregate care facility, which is operated by Options for Community Living, in Port Jeff Station, at about 1:25 p.m. Within minutes, Westrack arrived on scene and observed smoke emanating from the second floor of the home. As smoke streamed from the door, she entered the room and used a fire extinguisher to put out a mattress that was fully engulfed by fire. There were no injuries to staff or residents of the home.

Arson Section detectives, personnel from the Terryville Fire Department, and a Fire Marshal from Brookhaven Town also responded. An investigation by Arson detectives revealed the fire was intentionally set.

Sheldon Whittingham, 38, a resident of the home, was arrested and charged with second-degree arson. He is being held at the 6th Precinct and is scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip July 4.

Attorney information for Whittingham was not immediately available.

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By Desirée Keegan

The Suffolk County Police Department Highway Patrol Bureau, assisted by the New York State Police, arrested 14 people and seized one vehicle during an overnight sobriety checkpoint in Port Jefferson Station June 30.

Police officers from the SCPD highway patrol were assisted by New York State Troopers in conducting a sobriety checkpoint at the corner of Route 112 and Hallock Avenue. The checkpoint was conducted as part of an on-going July 4th holiday enforcement operation for the prevention of injuries and fatalities associated with driving while ability impaired by alcohol and drugs.  A total of 716 vehicles went through the checkpoint.

The following people were charged with driving while intoxicated:

  • Sandra Ventre, 50, of Port Jefferson
  • Robert Paddock, 28, of Stony Brook
  • John Young, 40, of Centereach
  • Jeffrey Gerlin, 57, of Centereach
  • Megan Dichtl, 26, of Wading River

The following was charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs:

  • Nicholas Cappelletti, 31, of Centereach

The following was charged with driving while ability impaired by a combined influence of alcohol and drugs and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance:

  • Justin Maldonado, 24, of New Jersey

The following was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance:

  • Justin Wienckowski, 23, of Commack

Ventre’s vehicle was seized due to a prior DWI conviction. The individuals were be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip July 1. Additionally, six individuals were arrested for unlawful possession of marijuana and issued field appearance tickets and will be arraigned on a later date.

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A South Setauket resident was seriously injured after he was hit by two cars while riding a bike across Nesconset Highway near Walmart in East Setauket just before 11 a.m. June 26, according to Suffolk County Police.

Stefan Kochaniwsky was riding a bicycle across Route 347 from the south side to the north side in front of 3990 Route 347 when he was struck by an east 2004 Ford Mustang. Kochaniwsky was then struck by an eastbound 2005 Jeep Liberty.

Kochaniwsky, 18, of South Setauket, was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of serious injuries. The driver of the Ford, Kevin Nelson, 22, of Port Jefferson Station, and the driver of the Jeep, Cassandra Benitez, 23, of Shirley, were not injured.

Both vehicles were impounded for safety checks and the investigation is continuing.

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