Police & Fire

Aaron Montemarano photo from SCPD
Aaron Montemarano photo from SCPD
Aaron Montemarano photo from SCPD

By Elana Glowatz

A teenager living in Port Jefferson is missing after visiting family over the weekend.

According to the Suffolk County Police Department, 16-year-old Aaron Montemarano is on probation and has been ordered by a judge to live at the Montfort Therapeutic Residence, which is on Stonyhill Road and operates under the umbrella of local social services nonprofit Hope House Ministries.

But the young man was reported missing on Sunday night, after he visited family in Mastic Beach over the weekend and did not return to the Port Jefferson facility.

Police described Montemarano as black, measuring 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing about 135 pounds. He has brown eyes and brown curly hair.

Anyone with information about whereabouts is asked to call 911 or 631-854-8652.

File photo

Suffolk County police officers arrested three 16-year-old boys who were riding dirt bikes and an ATV in an allegedly reckless manner in Huntington on Sunday.

Police officer James Garside, of the Suffolk County Police Department’s 2nd Precinct, observed two dirt bikes and an ATV driving recklessly south on Park Avenue at approximately 4:50 p.m. The SCPD said Garside followed the suspects to Berkeley Jackson County Park in Huntington, where they abandoned the vehicles and fled on foot into the woods.

Sgt. Steven Surian established a perimeter and notified the canine section, police said. Officer Paul O’Brien and his dog Argo entered the woods, located all three teens and took them into custody.

Police did not identify the youths.

The three teenagers, all from Huntington Station, were charged with reckless driving and were released on bail to their parents.

The vehicles have been impounded and the teens are scheduled to appear in First District Court in Central Islip on Aug. 1.

A Lindy's Taxi waits in the Port Jefferson Long Island Rail Road parking lot. File photo
Cabbie-lindy-taxi-3w
A Lindy’s Taxi waits in the Port Jefferson Long Island Rail Road parking lot. File photo

Story last updated at 3 p.m. on June 6

By Elana Glowatz

Police said Lindy’s Taxi vehicles were involved in two crashes on Route 112 in the last few days, one of them fatal and one against a red light.

In the first incident, a walking woman was killed early on Sunday morning when a taxi hit her, according to the Suffolk County Police Department.

Police said the victim, Gail Oses, was walking on Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station shortly after 3 a.m. — just south of Chereb Lane — when the southbound 2010 Ford Crown Victoria, a Lindy’s Taxi vehicle, struck her. She was pronounced dead at John T. Mather Memorial Hospital, up the road in Port Jefferson.

The taxi driver, 64-year-old Centereach man Brendan Hurst, was not hurt, police said, and neither were his two male passengers.

On Monday morning, another cab was involved in a crash down the road in Coram that hurt a motorcyclist. Police said the 2009 Crown Victoria, which was heading east on Route 25, went through a red light and hit a motorcycle that was going north on Route 112 shortly after 7 a.m.

The motorcyclist, 49-year-old Mastic man Jack Monti, was being treated for seriously leg injuries at Stony Brook University Hospital.

According to police, 43-year-old Centereach resident Mindy Shaw was driving the taxi and was issued a summons for failing to stop at the traffic light.

There were no passengers in the cab at the time of the crash.

When reached by phone at the company’s corporate office in Islandia on Monday, a Lindy’s Taxi spokesperson said, “These two accidents are both tragic and we are cooperating with the police and doing an internal investigation on each of them to see exactly what occurred.”

Police impounded the Crown Victorias and the Honda motorcycle for a safety check.

Detectives from the SCPD’s 6th Squad are investigating the crashes. Anyone with information can call them at 631-854-8652.

File photo

A Maryland man was stabbed in the face inside a Huntington bar early Saturday morning.

An Acacia bar patron alerted police shortly before 2 a.m. that a man had been stabbed inside the establishment, the Suffolk County Police Department said, and the Huntington Community First Aid Squad brought the victim to the hospital.

The 22-year-old victim, who police said is from Maryland, was treated for a non-life-threatening facial injury at Huntington Hospital.

Detectives are investigating the stabbing at the bar, which is located on New York Avenue near Elm Street. Anyone with information is asked to call them at 631-854-8252, or to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-220-TIPS.

Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta goes over legislation to suspend the camera program. Photo by Phil Corso

The Legislature may not be behind them, but Suffolk County residents are still calling the red light camera program a money grab and a safety hazard.

People cried out in support of county Legislator Rob Trotta’s (R-Fort Salonga) bill to suspend the county’s program during a Public Safety Committee meeting on May 26, but the Suffolk legislative committee stopped it from coming to fruition. The vote was 5 to 3 against a motion to move the bill to the full county Legislature for voting after nearly 20 residents spoke up against the use of the cameras.

Stephen Ruth Jr., pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on June 3 to 17 counts of criminal mischief after allegedly tampering with 16 red light cameras at intersections along Route 25 in Coram. He also spoke at the Legislature meeting late last month.

“Red light cameras are a detriment to Suffolk County,” he said. “The risks and damages to the well-being of Suffolk County residents far outweigh the benefits. We all know now that red lights cameras are a systematic form of extortion and nothing more. … Traffic signals were manipulated for revenue and it was only made possible by Suffolk County’s reckless willingness to do anything for money.”

Stephen Ruth mugshot from SCPD
Stephen Ruth mugshot from SCPD

Residents cited statistics to try to back up their issues with the program, using a 42 percent increase in rear-end collisions in 2014 as evidence of the program’s shortcomings, and said nearly half of the locations where cameras were installed showed an increase in personal injury.

“You’re not here working for the middle class people, you’re actually hurting them,” Hector Gavilla said. “The program is not working at all. We were promised that these red light cameras would stop these incidents.”

But overall, crashes have decreased by 3.1 percent, while T-bone crashes have decreased by 21.6 percent. The data also reflects an overall decrease in crashes involved injury by 4.2 percent, based upon data from the New York State Department of Transportation’s most current data available as of December 2014.

Rachel Lugo, who has worked in highway safety for over 20 years, was the only person to speak in support of the cameras. She said that although crashes have increased, she believes it’s not because of the cameras, but as a result of more new drivers on the road, and “increasingly dangerous” issues like texting and being distracted while driving, drinking while driving and being under the influence of drugs.

“You can’t say that these crashes are increasing because of red light cameras,” she said. “What about stop signs? Let’s take them away also. Why won’t we just take away traffic lights? Red light cameras are not the problem. Teaching the motorists to change their behavior behind the wheel is where we need to start. If everyone stopped at the red lights we wouldn’t have to worry about what’s going on with fines and who is making money.”

There are statistics to back her up.

Paul Margiotta, executive director of Suffolk County’s Traffic and Parking Violations Agency, said that between 2012 and 2013, the county saw a 34,000 increase is licensed drivers, where prior to 2012 the average was trending down. He said citations for texting and driving and distracted driving doubled since 2011, which tends to cause rear-end crashes.

Legislature William “Doc” Spencer (D-Centerport) joined Leslie Kennedy (R-Nesconset) and Tom Cilmi (R-Bay Shore) in voting to pass the bill.

Spencer asked to put the program under a microscope.

“We have to do something,” he said. “It’s hard for me to discount the public outcry. There’s a lot of smoke here. I want to make sure I’m doing my oversight job to make sure I have looked at this with a very detailed eyed.”

A county report says Indian Head Road and Jericho Turnpike in Commack saw crashes increase since a red light camera was installed in 2014. Photo by Phil Corso
A county report says Indian Head Road and Jericho Turnpike in Commack saw crashes increase since a red light camera was installed in 2014. Photo by Phil Corso

County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) agreed, although she stated that there was always an expectation that there would be an increase in rear-end crashes.

“Many things we deal with here are not black and white,” she said. “The policy decision was to institute an enforcement mechanism that will decrease the right-angle crashes which cause the more serious injuries and death, with the chance of and the expectation that there will be some uptick in rear-end crashes.”

She said she would like to see a report done on the intersections where there were a large number of rear-end crashes, to see if a majority of them were a result of the cameras, or other things like texting and driving.

According to William Hillman, Suffolk’s chief engineer, that investigation is ongoing. The county is in the process of reviewing crash data at the 42 intersections it controls. The state controls the other 58 intersections with cameras.

“These intersections where there’s been that high uptick, all-due haste is needed in reviewing what is going on so that we have a real answer,” Hahn said. “There’s a huge increase in crashes just in general because of distracted driving. This is happening more and more and red light cameras are not going to stop that. What red light cameras were designed to do was for the folks who were choosing to put their foot on the gas when the light turns yellow, to rethink that. They will actually stop at a red light, and that will save lives when people know that there could be consequences for running a red light. And that probably already has, because we’ve seen a decrease in T-bone crashes, which are more serious and life-threatening, and that is the purpose of the program.”

Park rangers would monitor Huntington Station parks to give a greater sense of police presence to the area. Stock photo

After a slew of violent incidents in Huntington Station, town Supervisor Frank Petrone (D) has proposed using park rangers to help monitor the area and improve security.

In the past two months, Suffolk County Police Department has publicly reported two dead bodies found in Huntington and three shootings in the area. Residents have asked officials at town board meetings for resolutions to the safety issue.

According to town spokesman A.J. Carter, the town plans to hire three to four park rangers, who would be recently retired or active but off-duty policemen and have the same powers as peace officers.

Although their jurisdiction specifically would be town parks, Carter said the park rangers would be allowed to intervene if they see activity on the roads or other areas outside the parks.

Huntington Station borders the Froehlich Farm Nature Preserve, where the body of a young woman was found in 2013, and includes the following parks within the neighborhood: Gateway Park on New York Avenue at Lowndes Avenue; Manor Field Park on East 5th Street; Depot Road Park; and Fair Meadows Park on East Pulaski Road and Park Avenue.

According to New York State criminal procedure law, peace officers can make warrantless arrests, use physical force to make an arrest or prevent an escape, carry out warrantless searches with probable cause and issue appearance tickets, among other powers. They can also carry firearms and take away weapons from people who do not have the proper licenses to carry.

All peace officers in New York need to go through a special training program.

Carter said Petrone has spent months researching the idea.

Many other towns on Long Island use systems like this, including Smithtown, which has a park ranger division comprised of “law enforcement personnel” acting as peace officers in town-owned facilities to “enforce town codes, parks rules and regulations, as well as state and federal laws,” according to Smithtown’s website.

Smithtown park rangers work in conjunction with Suffolk police, and Carter said Huntington plans to do the same. Duties for Smithtown rangers include preserving town property, deterring crime, arresting offenders and assisting in searches for missing persons.

“It’s another presence in the community with the ability to make arrests,” Carter said in a phone interview.

The town spokesman also said the money to hire peace officers would be taken from the part of the budget set aside for additional seasonal hires.

As for information on uniforms, salary, shift schedules and more, Carter said the program is still in the works and no other news is available at the moment.

Drugs in Miller Place
On May 27 at about 6 p.m., a 37-year-old man from Miller Place seated in a 2009 Acura on Tyler Avenue possessed heroin, police said. He was arrested and charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. At the same location and time, a 46-year-old man from Middle Island possessed heroin and two different medications without prescriptions, according to police. He was arrested as well and charged with fourth-degree possession of a narcotic drug and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Cannabusted
At a home on Stanley Drive in Centereach, a 24-year-old man was found to possess cannabis at about 9 p.m. on May 25, according to police. He was arrested and charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

How did those get in there?
A 34-year-old man from Wappenger Falls was found in possession of multiple bags of heroin at the 6th Precinct while being arrested on an unrelated charge stemming from an incident on Horseblock Road in Selden at about 10:30 p.m. on May 28, police said. He was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Garden-variety criminal
A statue and decorative planters were stolen from the front yard of a home on Christian Avenue in Stony Brook at about noon on May 14, police said.

Back to work
Between November 2011 and December 2013, a 30-year-old man from Selden collected unemployment fraudulently, according to police. He was arrested at a home on Paula Boulevard at about 10:30 a.m. on May 27 and charged with fourth-degree insurance fraud.

Dirty job
On May 26 at the Walgreens on Route 112 in Medford, a 44-year-old man from Middle Island stole three bottles of Clorox bleach and a bottle of Tide laundry detergent, police said. He was arrested and charged with petit larceny.

Ruthless robbery
A 21-year-old man from Ronkonkoma approached a woman near the Walgreens on Route 25 in Selden at about 10 p.m. on May 26 and forcefully demanded money from her, according to police. He was arrested and charged with first-degree robbery.

Empty your pockets
While at the 6th Precinct at about noon on May 25 after he was arrested in Selden, a 27-year-old man from Rocky Point was found to possess the drug methadone, police said. He was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Bike rides off
At about 12:30 p.m. on May 29, someone stole a black and white BMX bike from a home on Olympia Street in Port Jefferson Station, police said.

Cable repairman?
Someone tried to exit the Walmart on Nesconset Highway in Setauket without paying for a television and a pair of pliers at about 2:30 p.m. on May 29, according to police.

Know your parole
A 32-year-old man from Coram was in violation of his parole at about 2 a.m. on May 29, according to police. He was on Main Street in Port Jefferson when he was arrested and charged with the parole violation.

Rock-throwing spree
The rear passenger side window of a 2012 Jeep parked near a home on Avondale Drive in Centereach was smashed by someone at about 8 p.m. on May 27. On nearby Salem Road about 30 minutes later, the rear window of a 2006 Toyota was smashed and a rock was thrown through the driver side window of a 1997 Honda, according to police.

Missing drugs from CVS
Various over-the-counter medications were stolen from the CVS Pharmacy on Middle Country Road in Selden at about 1:30 p.m. on May 28, according to police.

It’s a fixer-upper
Household items were stolen from the Walmart on Nesconset Highway in Setauket at about 2 p.m. on May 28, police said.

Mishaps at Macy’s
A 29-year-old female from Ronkonkoma was arrested on May 29 at 1:10 p.m. after police said she stole merchandise from Macy’s in the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, and had cocaine in her possession. She was charged with fourth-degree grand larceny valuing more than $1,000 and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
On May 28 a 20-year-old man from Riverhead was arrested after police said he stole belts and shorts from Macy’s in the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove. He was charged with petit larceny.

Movie lover
A 57-year-old man from Hauppauge was arrested on May 29 at The Smithtown Library on Smithtown Boulevard after police said he stole movies. He was charged with petit larceny.

Stay sharp
Police said a 20-year-old man from Ronkonkoma threatened a group of people with a knife at the handball courts in Lake Ronkonkoma County Park on May 29, and then an hour later threatened a man with a knife standing outside his house on Smithtown Boulevard. He was arrested and charged with second-degree menacing with a weapon.

Gulf strike
A 23-year-old man from Ronkonkoma was arrested on May 28 after police said he stole money from a Gulf gas station on Express Drive North in Islandia, where he was employed. He was charged with petit larceny.

Takes one to steal some
Police said a 50-year-old man from Ronkonkoma was arrested after police said he stole various tools from a shed on a residence on Oakside Drive in Smithtown on April 30. On May 27 he was arrested at the 4th Precinct, and charged with petit larceny.

Not Kohl
On May 27, a 42-year-old man from Brentwood was arrested after police said he stole clothing from Kohl’s on Crooked Hill Road in Commack on multiple occasions. He was charged with two counts of petit larceny.

Adder-don’t
Police said a 30-year-old man from Smithtown had Adderall on him without a prescription while on East Main Street in Kings Park on May 26. He was arrested and charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Pocketing piping
A 27-year-old woman from Wyandanch was arrested on May 25, after police said she stole copper piping from a residence on Woodcut Drive in Mastic Beach. She was charged with third-degree burglary with illegal entry.

Car dramas
Police said an unknown person dented a 2011 Mini Cooper parked on Crescent Place in Smithtown on May 29.
On May 29, an unknown person damaged a 2012 Chevy that was parked on 5th Street in Lake Ronkonkoma.
One tire was stolen from a 2016 Honda parked on Gibbs Pond Road in Nesconset on May 29, police said.

Walmart woes
On May 29, police said an unknown person sole cellphone cases, a drill and DVDs from Walmart in the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove.

Dave and bust in
A 2012 Nissan Maxima parked in the parking lot of Dave & Buster’s on Veterans Memorial Highway in Islandia was broken into and a purse stolen from inside on May 28, police said.

Whole wallet gone
Police said an unknown person stole a wallet out of a shopping cart at Whole Foods Market on New Moriches Road in Lake Grove on May 28.

Cocaine couple
On May 29, a 21-year-old man and a 46-year-old man, both from Huntington Station, were arrested after police said they had cocaine on them while on New York Avenue in Huntington at about 2:30 a.m. They were both charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Shine some light on the crime
An unknown person shattered the rear window of a 2011 Honda CR-V parked on the corner of Lantern Street in Greenlawn on May 29.

Can’t party here
A 34-year-old man from Huntington Station was arrested on May 27 after police said he permitted patrons to consume alcohol on the premises at Hola Centro America Grocery on New York Avenue in Huntington Station. He was charged with violation of a special license consumption on premises.

The plastics
Police said a 24-year-old man from Huntington Station had three plastic bags filled with marijuana while on Depot Road in Huntington Station at 3:45 p.m. on May 26. He was arrested and charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana.

CVS sees things
Police said a 30-year-old man from Commack stole more than $1,000 from CVS on Commack Road while working there as an employee. He was arrested on May 27 and charged with fourth-degree grand larceny.

Not a safe environment for a baby
A 28-year-old man from Huntington Station was arrested on May 27 after police said he had multiple rounds of ammunition, loaded guns and cocaine in his home on 7th Avenue with a baby in the house. He was arrested and charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second-degree criminal use of drug paraphernalia, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, acting in a manor likely to be injurious to the welfare of a child and third-degree possession of narcotic drugs with the intent to sell.

Not exactly on a straight path
On May 27, a 20-year-old woman from Lindenhurst was arrested after police said she had prescription pills on her without a prescription while on Straight Path in Dix Hills at 11:50 a.m. She was arrested and charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Louis on the loose
A 19-year-old man from Melville was arrested on May 26 after police said he stole a Louis Vuitton wallet containing cash and credit cards while at the Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington. He was charged with fourth-degree grand larceny.

West Pulaski Road story
On May 26, a 22-year-old man from Huntington Station was arrested after police said he had a quantity of cocaine in his possession while at a residence on West Pulaski Road in Greenlawn. He was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

An apple a day takes the car away
Police said an unknown person stole a 2011 Ford Focus from the parking lot of Applebee’s on Walt Whitman Road in Huntington on May 29.

Thief conductors a search
On May 29, at the Huntington Station train stop for the Long Island Rail Road, an unknown person approached a woman, grabbed her and took her backpack with cash and medication in it.

File photo

A pedestrian was seriously injured in a hit-and-run late on Wednesday night and police are searching for the white sedan driver who is responsible.

The female victim was crossing Route 112 near Middle Country Road in Coram a little before midnight when she was hit by the northbound sedan, according to the Suffolk County Police Department. The woman was hurt but the car’s driver fled the scene, continuing north on Route 112.

Police did not identify the victim but said she was listed in serious condition at Stony Brook University Hospital.

Anyone with information about the crash or about the white sedan is asked to call police at 631-854-8652, or to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-220-TIPS.

Timothy Flythe mugshot from SCPD

Police allege a teenager stole multiple all-terrain vehicles in Huntington Station.

Officers recovered several of the ATVs on Wednesday while responding to a call from someone who claimed to have observed his stolen vehicle on West Pulaski Road near New York Avenue that afternoon, the Suffolk County Police Department said. Detectives investigated and recovered five stolen ATVs, three of which were reported stolen in the Huntington area.

Of the remaining two vehicles, one was stolen from West Islip and the other from Nassau County.

According to police, a sixth ATV was impounded for further investigation. It was not clear where it came from.

Timothy Flythe, a 17-year-old Huntington Station resident, allegedly possessed the stolen property. Police charged him with criminal possession of stolen property — one count in the third degree and four counts in the fourth-degree.

Attorney information for Flythe was not available Thursday morning on the New York State court system’s online database.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact detectives at 631-854-8252.

A fire broke out early on Memorial Day on Leeward Court, in the Highlands condominiums in uptown Port Jefferson.

The Port Jefferson Fire Department and Port Jefferson Village fire marshal were on the scene of the blaze in the early hours of the morning.