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Suffolk County Police Department

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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.

A 12-year-old boy was killed as a result of a boating accident in Centerport July 18. File Photo

A man’s body was found floating in the Long Island Sound about three miles north of Belle Terre Village at about 2 p.m. June 19, according to the Suffolk County Police Department.

Suffolk County Police Homicide Squad detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Gregory Blanco, a 41-year-old Commack man.

Someone on board the Park City, a Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company ferry, spotted a body floating in the water Monday afternoon. The Stratford Fire Department responded and recovered the body which was transported to the Town of Brookhaven Port Jefferson Marina.

The victim had launched in a kayak from Northport. He was pronounced dead by a physician assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner who will perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

On June 11, 24-year-old Huntington Station resident Selvin Vasquez-Enamorado launched his kayak from a beach near Crab Meadow Beach in Northport and never returned. His kayak was recovered, and the police have since called off the search.

A party at this home on Crystal Brook Hollow Road in Port Jefferson attracted underage drinking and about 400 guests, according to SCPD. Image from Google Maps

A party at a Port Jefferson Village home caused a commotion Saturday night, requiring Suffolk County Police to respond to break up a gathering of approximately 400 people, including some allegedly younger than the legal drinking age, according to police.

Sixth Precinct Patrol officers were called to a house on Crystal Brook Hollow Road June 17 by the Port Jeff village constables, according to the Port Jeff Code Chief Wally Tomaszewski. When police arrived, there were approximately 400 people at the residence at 12:45 a.m., and underage drinking was observed.

Police arrested and charged the host, Michael Malguarnera, 30, with violating the social host law. He was transported to the 6th Precinct, where he was released on bail. Malguarnera is scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip Aug 18.

According to Tomaszewski, a similar party was thrown at the residence the weekend prior. He said Malguarnera threw the party and charged admission at the door, and even offered valet parking for visitors. Members from the village’s “Whiskey Team,” a task force of two Suffolk County Police Department officers assigned to Port Jeff village for the summer months to assist the constables, responded to the call, according to the code chief. This was the first weekend the Whiskey Team was available as a resource for the constables, and they will remain through the summer, Tomaszewski said.

The issue was addressed in a post on the village’s official Facebook page.

“Although I am sorry this happened in Port Jefferson — I’m also grateful to our code bureau and to SCP for arriving and doing their jobs!,” the post said. “Let this be a lesson — this will not be tolerated in any neighborhood!”

Attorney information for Malguarnera was not immediately available.

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A man was killed while installing a cesspool at a home on Beech Place in Huntington just before 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 24, according to police.

A crew was installing a cesspool at a home located at 2 Beech Place in Huntington when the ground gave way trapping Edward Sinnott at approximately 12:50 p.m. Sinnott, 59, of Huntington, was recovered just before 7 p.m. and pronounced at the scene by a physician’s assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner.

Suffolk County Police 2nd Precinct and Emergency Service Section officers, Nassau County Emergency Service officers, members of Huntington Community First Aid, Huntington Fire Department, Huntington Manor Fire Department, Greenlawn Fire Department and Dix Hills Fire Department responded as well as officials from the Town of Huntington and Occupational Safety and Health Administration responded.

Suffolk County Police Homicide Squad detectives are investigating the incident.

A man was taken to the hospital for treatment of a puncture wound after he was allegedly assaulted with a screwdriver by a 22-year-old man in Port Jefferson Station May 22, according to police.

Joel Moreno-Alvarado, 22, of Port Jefferson Station was arrested and charged with second-degree assault and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance after he allegedly assaulted a victim at about 11:30 p.m. Monday night on Main Street near the intersection of East Oakland Avenue, police said.

The victim walked into the 6th Precinct in Selden to report the incident and was taken by ambulance to the hospital to be treated for a puncture wound. Moreno-Alvarado was held overnight and arraigned in 1st District Court in Central Islip Tuesday, May 23, police said. Attorney information for Moreno-Alvarado was not immediately available.

 

Three men entered a home, assaulted the homeowner and stole money and a pickup truck at about midnight May 15 at a home on Sheep Pasture Road in Port Jefferson, according to Suffolk County Police Department Assistant Commissioner Justin Meyers.

“Detectives have credible information that this location was targeted and not a random act,” Meyers said in an emailed statement through a police spokesperson. “Patrols will be stepped up in the area as part of the investigation.”

The homeowner was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, and the investigation by 6th Squad detectives is ongoing.

Police say this man entered Chase bank in Stony Brook and demanded cash. Photos from SCPD

A robbery occurred at Chase bank on Nesconset Highway in Stony Brook on the morning of April 20. Suffolk County Police Major Case Unit detectives are investigating.

A man entered Chase, located at 2210 Nesconset Highway, at about 8:45 a.m. and demanded money from a teller. The teller complied and the man fled on foot.

The man was described as white, between 25 and 35 years old, 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall and between 180 and 200 pounds. The man was wearing a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt with gray pants. The suspect’s face was covered by a gray bandana and he was wearing gloves.

Detectives are asking anyone with information on this case to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

 

Ivan Albert, owner of Sweet ‘n’ Savory and Ralph’s Italian Ices & Ice Cream on Main Street in Port Jeff, says a group of unsupervised teenagers are disrupting business. Photo by Kevin Redding

Port Jefferson is a walkable, waterfront village that attracts members of its own community and neighboring ones regularly, especially when the weather improves and schools are closed. In theory it should be an optimal environment for business owners thirsty for more foot traffic on Main Street, but at least one is not enjoying the influx of customers.

Ivan Albert, owner of Sweet ‘n’ Savory and Ralph’s Italian Ices & Ice Cream on Main Street in Port Jeff, says a group of unsupervised teenagers are disrupting business. Photo by Kevin Redding

Ivan Albert is the owner of two shops on Main Street in Port Jefferson Village: Ralph’s Italian Ices & Ice Cream, and Sweet ‘n’ Savory, a café that specializes in gourmet crepes. He said throughout the course of the last year an ongoing situation has developed in the two stores involving a group of about 60 teenagers — Albert speculated in an interview at Ralph’s that most of the offenders are 14 or 15 years old — who use profanity, enter and exit the store repeatedly in large groups, are rude to employees and other customers, smoke from vaporizers within the stores, and even occasionally steal items or damage property.

“This year it has gotten really bad,” Albert, a Mount Sinai resident, said. “It just seems like the thing to do is for parents to just pull up and drop their kids off in Port Jeff and say ‘I’ll pick you up at 11 at night or midnight, have fun with your friends.’”

Albert said he has tried to approach the group nicely to convey his message that he believes their behavior is bad for business, but it hasn’t worked.

“They’re having fun with their friends, and I’m good with that, I was once young and having fun with your friends is great,” he said. “When a family comes in with young kids, or any family, looking to have a nice time, they don’t want to hear cursing. And then there’s fighting and throwing stuff and breaking stuff — it’s horrible.”

Albert said he repeatedly has called village code enforcement and the Suffolk County Police Department to complain and report issues. He said he believes the constables in the village “have their hands tied” and aren’t able to make any meaningful changes, and county police often take too long to respond to calls about teenagers causing a nuisance for businesses.

“Out of control — and business people can’t cope with rudeness, vulgarity and profanity,” Port Jefferson Village code chief Wally Tomaszewski said in a text message of the unsupervised teenagers walking the streets most nights that aren’t followed by school days. “My officers do all they can at night to try and control them.”

The SCPD did not respond to a request for comment in time for print.

“It deters people from coming. I feed my family with these businesses.”

— Ivan Albert

An employee at Sweet ‘n’ Savory, a 20-year-old Port Jefferson resident who asked to be identified only as Chris, said he doesn’t feel the kids present a tangible threat, but their presence is bad for business.

“They’re not really dangerous or a threat just because they are so young, they’re just obnoxious,” Chris said. “They light firecrackers outside of the doors, they harass the people that walk by them. It’s annoying for the business because customers don’t like it. They don’t want to be bothered, so some people are just like, ‘Well if this is how it is I’m not coming back here.’”

Albert said he’s gotten complaints from the parents of his employees, who tend to be in the 17- to 25-year-old range, about the environment their kids are forced to work in. He said his wife tried to spread the message to parents in the area by posting on Facebook about the problem last week, while many of the local schools were on spring break.

“I would just like to reach out as a mom above and before being anything else,” the post said. “There is an extremely large group of kids high school age that hang out around Main Street in Port Jeff. If you are allowing your sons and daughters to spend their free time roaming the streets there I would like to inform you about what goes on. They are totally disruptive, rude, obnoxious and out of control.”

Albert said the post was shared several times, and his plan is to record more incidents on his cellphone and post them on social media going forward in the hopes that parents might see it and lay down the law with their own children.

“The kids aren’t going to stop on their own. I need to bring awareness to the parent that’s dropping them off,” he said. “It deters people from coming. I feed my family with these businesses.”

SCPD Commissioner Tim Sini speaks at Broohaven Town Hall during a crime awareness event. Photo by Kevin Redding

Drug addiction on the North Shore and across Suffolk County is a complicated problem, so the police department and the community are coming together to come up with strategies to combat it.

One of the reasons Salvatore Pitti, a retired New York City police officer, left the Big Apple to live on Long Island he said in part was to escape drug-related crime. But in recent years, he has seen what he called an alarming uptick in heroin and opioid-related overdoses and deaths in the suburbs — so he decided to do something about it.

“We need to put the fear of God into our kids about this problem.”

— Salvatore Pitti

“We need to put the fear of God into our kids about this problem,” Pitti said April 11 during a Crime Awareness Committee meeting at Brookhaven Town Hall. “I’ve had the misfortune, in my career, to scoop three or four children off the street, dead. I don’t want to see that.”

Pitti, vice president of the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Civic Association and leader of a local neighborhood watch group designed to eliminate local criminal activity, co-sponsored the event along with Brookhaven Town.

Joined by several guest speakers including Supervisor Ed Romaine (R), Councilwoman Valerie Cartright (D-Port Jefferson) and Suffolk County Police Department Commissioner Tim Sini, Pitti spoke with local organization leaders and residents about how they can help make their communities safer.

Sini, who became commissioner last year, has already rolled out several initiatives through the SCPD to address the issues of illegal drug sales, abuse and overdoses as well as prevention and recovery in his short time leading the department.

Many of them rely on police department collaboration with the public.

“I can’t tell you the number of times that information from people in this room or from folks like you have helped us solve crimes,” Sini said, highlighting such programs as the NARC hotline, a partnership with Suffolk County Crime Stoppers, where callers can give crime tips anonymously and receive cash rewards for those that lead to arrests.

Another initiative, Sini said, is the Long Island Heroin Task Force, which targets drug dealers causing overdoses and the areas that have the biggest spikes in overdoses through data collected in the department. Programs are also being implemented in local schools that teach about the consequences of taking drugs, offer prevention and recovery steps, and even train parents and teens on how to administer Narcan, the nasal spray used to reverse heroin overdoses.

“We need to get people off drugs and into treatment for recovery,” Sini said. “Please think of ways the SCPD can partner with you to promote drug prevention in your community.”

Cartright said she understands the importance of a partnership with local law enforcement.

“I can’t tell you the number of times that information from people in this room or from folks like you have helped us solve crimes.”

— Tim Sini

“I grew up in Queens, in an urban community where there was a lot of crime, and there was no interaction with the police department the way we interact with the police department here,” the councilwoman said. “They come in and ask, ‘how can we work with you?’ That’s something, 25 years ago, I didn’t have when I was growing up. This is not a problem we can solve alone.”

Pitti said he started the Crime Awareness Committee three years ago to shine a spotlight on a local marijuana dealer in his neighborhood. Due to his effort and a collaboration with neighbors and the police, the dealer was ultimately pushed off the block.

Even though the group has since grown, he said he wants more community involvement.

“When I first started this, I received a civic email list but, unfortunately, it was antiquated and outdated,” he said. “We’re working together on it, to try and fix it and put more emails in. That, to me, is the first problem. If we can’t call each other, how can we help each other?”

He handed out a packet to attendees of the meeting outlining ways to identify dangerous people in the community. The packet gives details on how to check if houses in a neighborhood have rental permits; report town code violations; deter underage drinking at parties and neighborhood gatherings; and a detailed physical description form to fill out upon witnessing suspicious activity.

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Video shows the second blaze of the night March 9 being battled by the Terryville and neighboring fire departments. Video by Port Jefferson Fire Chief Charlie Russo

Three fires were intentionally lit March 9, with the first starting just before 1 p.m. and the last starting at 9:15 p.m. at the site of the former industrial air-craft part manufacturer Lawrence Aviation off Sheep Pasture Road in Port Jefferson Station, according to the Suffolk County Police Department.

“Police were called to a fire at an abandoned home on the property at 12:55 p.m,” the department said in a statement. “Several hours later, police responded to another structure fire on the property at 8:50 p.m. At approximately 9:15 p.m. police responded to a fire at a third structure. The fires were intentionally set. There were no injuries.”

The Terryville Fire Department responded to the calls and extinguished the fires with help from neighboring departments. Two firefighters were transported to a local hospital for precautionary reasons, according to the department.

The department responded to the first fire on the property at a vacant house at about 1 p.m. according their Facebook page.

“Hours later they responded to the same sight for another fire, that was well involved,” the post said. “Moments later they were notified of a third fire on the Lawrence Aviation property, which is a Super Fund Site.”

The second fire was in a vacant private dwelling on Willis Avenue Extension off of Sheep Pasture Road, just north of the Lawrence Aviation Property.

“Our department responded to the same location earlier in the day for a bedroom fire which was quickly extinguished,” the post said. “The second fire in the evening was unrelated to and more extensive than the first and had started in a separate section of the home…at approximately 9:30 p.m., while units were still operating at the house fire on Willis Avenue Extension, we were alerted to an additional structure fire, this one reported to be on the property of the defunct Lawrence Aviation Property.”

Suffolk County Police Department Arson Section detectives are investigating the incidents.

A site is declared a Superfund site if it has been contaminated by hazardous waste and is designated for cleanup by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency because it poses a threat to human health and/or the environment.

Brookhaven Town restricted development at the polluted site in July 2015 using a special zoning district. Lawrence Aviation dumped harmful chemicals at the site over years, contaminating soil and groundwater. The EPA and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation have been working for several years to undo the damage through the federal Superfund program, which cleans up such contaminations of hazardous materials, but it could still take two more decades to completely clean local groundwater.

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