Police & Fire

File photo.

A driver was seriously injured in Huntington Station early Friday morning when he hit a utility pole.

The Suffolk County Police Department said the man had been driving south on New York Avenue in a 1991 Mazda SUV at about 2:20 a.m. when his car left the road and hit the pole, just north of Schwab Road.

The man was brought to Huntington Hospital with serious injuries, then transferred to North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset.

Police identified the victim as 50-year-old West Babylon resident Giovanni Saccente.

Detectives from the SCPD’s 2nd Squad are investigating the case, and the Mazda was impounded for a safety check.

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call detectives at 631-854-8252 or to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-220-TIPS.

Story last updated on Friday, Aug. 28, at 1:15 p.m.

The dangerous reptile sits on a table at Thursday's press conference. Photo by Victoria Espinoza

By Victoria Espinoza

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.

A 25-pound alligator snapping turtle was found this past weekend in the stream opposite the Smithtown Bull on Route 25 in Smithtown, with enough power to bite off someone’s finger or toe, officials said.

“We’re just lucky the gentleman who found it knew how to handle it, and knew to contact us,” said Roy Gross, chief of the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “This reptile is capable of taking toes and part of a foot clean off. People are constantly walking by this area barefoot, including children.”

A father and son, both Suffolk County residents, found the reptile while they were preparing to go kayaking, officials said. Gross said that this freshwater reptile is not indigenous to this area, and is mainly found from eastern Texas to the Florida panhandle.

SPCA Chief Roy Gross handles the alligator snapping turtle on Thursday, Aug. 27. Photo by Victoria Espinoza
SPCA Chief Roy Gross handles the alligator snapping turtle on Thursday, Aug. 27. Photo by Victoria Espinoza

Gross and Dan Losquadro, highway superintendent for Brookhaven Town, both said that this is another example of people dumping reptiles in public places, creating a serious threat and risk to the public.

“This is a dangerous animal. We don’t want animals abandoned. But we don’t want to endanger the public,” Losquadro said.

According to Losquadro, the turtle will be transported to the Holtsville Ecology Center, where it will be given shelter and a veterinarian will make sure it is physically healthy, and identify what gender it is.

The ecology center is a refuge for all abandoned animals. Gross said that over the years there have been many incidents of animals being released to the public, and that someone guilty of this can be faced with multiple charges and prosecuted.

Gross suspected this was originally someone’s pet, but stressed that this is not the kind of pet you want to have.

“I can’t imagine curled up on the couch watching television with this guy,” Gross said.

When transporting the turtle to the SPCA’s office, he said the turtle was able to make a hole in the container he was being kept in, and was trying to escape.

Parking lot possession
Police arrested a 23-year-old woman from Shoreham on Aug. 20 for possession of Suboxone, a controlled substance. The arrest took place in a parking lot on Mariners Way in Port Jefferson. A 25-year-old man from Huntington was arrested in the same location that day, for possession of heroin.

Give him some credit
On Aug. 21, police arrested a 40-year-old man from Miller Place for petit larceny in the Sunrise Service Road Plaza, for stealing Timberland boots from an unidentified store and returning them for store credit. Police also found heroin in the man’s possession.

Can’t dodge DUI
A 53-year-old man from Bohemia was arrested in Centereach on Aug. 22 for driving under the influence. The man was driving a 2002 Dodge south on County Road 97 when he rear-ended the car in front of him. Police discovered the man was driving while impaired.

At the corner of heroin and theft
Police arrested a 39-year-old woman from Coram on Aug. 22, after she took unidentified items from a Walgreens on Middle Country Road. She was also found in possession of heroin.

King of barcodes
On Aug. 21, a 63-year-old man was arrested at the King Kullen in Independence Plaza in Selden for manipulating a barcode scanner machine. Police said the man previously committed the same act at two other locations.

Kicked and keyed
On Aug. 20 an unknown person dented and keyed a person’s car on Piedmont Drive in Port Jefferson Station. The individual dented the car by kicking it.

Dognap ends happily
A female took a small black Maltese dog from a female complainant on Piedmont Drive in Port Jefferson Station on Aug. 20, at 1:40 a.m. The complainant was reunited with her dog and didn’t want to press charges. Police said the complainant knows the woman who took the dog.

You’re Heinekidding me
An unknown person walked into the CVS Pharmacy on Main Street in Port Jefferson on Aug. 22 and stole a six-pack of Heineken beer.

Up against the wall
On Aug. 19 at 8:40 p.m. a man was walking on Linden Place in Port Jefferson when someone approached him from behind and pushed him against a brick wall. The suspect demanded money and took it from the man’s wallet before fleeing on foot.

I’ve got the power
An unknown person removed assorted power tools from a box truck on Aug. 19, at 1:56 a.m., on Middle Country Road in Miller Place.

Unsafe driving comment
Two male customers at a gas station on Nesconset Highway in Mount Sinai got into a dispute on Aug. 22. One customer assaulted the other, punching and pushing him to the ground. According to police, the dispute arose because the complainant told the other customer that he had made an unsafe driving maneuver.

Turning the other cheek
Two women got into a dispute on Broadway in Rocky Point on Aug. 19. At 12:05 a.m., one woman threw a drink at the complainant and struck her on the side of the face with a beer bottle. There were no serious injuries.

Tackling petty crime
Police said on Aug. 21 a suspect and two other people ran “football-style” into a person’s mailbox on Monticello Drive in Shoreham at 1:19 a.m. The mailbox was damaged.

Gas money
On Aug. 19 at 9:40 p.m. an unknown suspect entered a gas station on Middle Country Road in Centereach and displayed a black handgun. He demanded cash from the register before taking it out himself.

Check, please
An unknown person and their party got into a verbal dispute with other people at the Olive Garden in Centereach. The incident took place on Aug. 19 at 9 p.m., when police said the former group chased the latter out of the restaurant and damaged the restaurant’s front door in the process.

Pumping and running
An unknown person pumped gas on Middle Country Road in Centereach and left the station without paying.

DWI crash
A 54-year-old man from Ronkonkoma was arrested in Stony Brook on Aug. 21 and charged with driving while intoxicated in the first degree. Police said the man was driving a 2014 Dodge pickup at 10:09 p.m. at Gibbs Pond Road and Pleasant Drive in Smithtown when he was involved in a motor vehicle crash. He was transferred to Stony Brook University Hospital, where he was arrested.

Gifted
A 39-year-old man from Shirley was arrested on Aug. 21 at 11:40 a.m. and charged with petit larceny. Police said he activated a Visa gift card and left Home Depot on Pond Path without paying at 10 p.m. on Aug. 20.

Dunkin’ GoNuts
A Dunkin’ Donuts employee at a store on Nesconset Highway in Setauket-East Setauket told police that someone head-butted him in the nose at 5:50 a.m. on Aug. 22. The attack came after staff asked the angry customer to leave.

Like taking candy from a baby
Someone stole a female Walmart shopper’s pocketbook that was located in the rear of a baby carriage while at the store on Nesconset Highway in Setauket-East Setauket on Aug. 19. The pocketbook contained cash, an iPhone and a child’s wallet.

Gone in a flash
Someone stole earphones, a cell phone case and a flashlight from Target located on Pond Path in South Setauket on Aug. 19 at 3:50 p.m. There have been no arrests.

Swept away
Someone took a Dyson vacuum cleaner from Lowe’s Home Improvement on Nesconset Highway in Stony Brook on Aug. 23 at 3:50 p.m. There have been no arrests.

An unwelcome visit
Suffolk County Police said a 28-year-old man from Lake Grove was arrested at the 4th Precinct on Aug. 21 at 12:20 a.m. and charged with second-degree burglary. Police said the man entered a residence on Shepherd Lane in Nesconset and stole property sometime between Aug. 3 at 6 p.m. and Aug. 4 at 11:30 a.m. Police couldn’t say what he stole.

Speedy DWI
A 22-year-old Northport man was arrested on Aug. 20 at Derby Place and Route 25A in Smithtown at 1:45 a.m. and charged with first-degree driving while intoxicated. Police said the man, who was driving on Route 25A in a 1997 Buick, was observed speeding before being pulled over.

Bad reality check
Police said a 44-year-old man from Brentwood was arrested by Suffolk County Police on Aug. 20 at the 4th Precinct at 10:50 a.m. and charged with third-degree grand larceny. Police said the man knowingly cashed a bad check.

Jewelry jam
A 49-year-old man from Selden was arrested in Smithtown on Aug. 19 and charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. Police said that in 2013 and 2014, the man sold several items of stolen jewelry to pawn shops on Walt Whitman Road in Melville.

Falling flat
Police arrested a 49-year-old woman from Central Islip on Aug. 19 and charged her with petit larceny. Police said she stole a 48-inch flat screen TV from Walmart on Veterans Memorial Highway in Islandia on Aug. 8 at 2:25 p.m. She was arrested at the 4th Precinct.

Pole patrol
A 23-year-old man from Medford was arrested in St. James on Aug. 22 and charged with operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 of 1 percent in the first degree, and driving while intoxicated. Police said the man was driving a 2008 Jeep on Middle Country Road east of Lake Avenue in St. James at 3:15 a.m. when he struck a pole.

Lights out
Someone pushed over a light post in front of Katie’s bar on West Main Street in Smithtown on Aug. 20 at 1:47 a.m. There have been no arrests.

Come take my car
A man told police that someone took his 2014 Nissan Altima parked on the street in front of his parents’ home on Valleywood Drive in Smithtown on Aug. 19. Police said the complainant told them he left his car unlocked and the key in the glove box.

Wallet woes
A man told police someone stole his wallet from a 2007 Honda CRV sometime between Aug. 20 and Aug. 21 on Springmeadow Drive in Kings Park. The wallet contained credit cards and a driver’s license.

Crash ‘n dash
A 52-year-old woman from Huntington driving a 2013 Nissan Sentra attempted to flee the scene on Aug. 21 following an accident. She was arrested on New York Avenue and charged with an aggravated DWI, DWI and leaving the scene. She rear-ended a 2015 Chevrolet. There were no passengers inside the car.

Taking the high road
Police arrested a 48-year-old woman from Huntington at exit 50 of the Long Island Expressway on Aug. 21 and charged her with operating a motor vehicle impaired by drugs. She was driving a 2005 Chrysler and was involved in a crash with an unknown vehicle.

Stickin’ it to them
On Aug. 20, a 21-year-old woman from Huntington was arrested at the LIE and Route 110 in Huntington and charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, for unlawful possession of a collapsible baton. She was also charged with using a vehicle by temporary custody, no contest. She had it in the passenger side of the 2015 Ford she was driving. Police discovered this after pulling her over for being in violation of a rental agreement with U-Haul.

Joy ride
At approximately 10 p.m. on Aug. 20, a 19-year-old man from Huntington was arrested on Clay Pitts Road in Greenlawn and charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Cops found the drug on him during a traffic stop.

Parks and theft
On Aug. 22, at approximately 10:40 p.m., a man told cops that three men surrounded him while he was at Heckscher Park in Huntington. One of the three men punched him and stole his laptop.

On a roll
Huntington Mazda, on Jericho Turnpike in Huntington Station, reported to police that four rims and four tires were stolen from a 2010 BMW between midnight and 12:30 am on Aug. 19.

Charger jacked
A woman at the Family Service League on Park Avenue in Huntington reported to police that her cell phone charger was stolen on Aug. 20. She said she placed it by a common sleeping area and when she returned it was gone.

A Middle Country man may have been unwell on Wednesday when his pickup truck crashed into the center median on the Long Island Expressway, before he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The Suffolk County Police Department said the 63-year-old Coram man, David Hutchings, was driving a 2005 GMC east near exit 63 in Holtsville at about 1:15 p.m. when he collided with the median near the carpool lane. The pickup came to a stop after the crash.

According to police, officers and rescue personnel arrived to find Hutchings unconscious behind the wheel. The Holtsville Fire Department ambulance brought him to Stony Brook University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police said detectives from the SCPD’s 6th Squad, who are investigating the incident, believe Hutchings experienced a medical emergency, causing the fatal one-car crash.

The pickup was impounded for safety checks.

Stephen Ruth mugshot from the SCPD

Police arrested a Centereach man on Tuesday afternoon who they say used a pole to turn red light cameras away from the road and potential violators.

According to the Suffolk County Police Department, the suspect used an expandable pole to tamper with the cameras, pushing the lenses toward the sky. Officers from the SCPD’s 6th Precinct Crime Section received anonymous tips regarding a video post on social media that allegedly shows 42-year-old Stephen Ruth tampering with several of the cameras in Ronkonkoma, including one on Ocean Avenue at the Long Island Expressway’s south service road on both Aug. 21 and Aug. 24. Shortly before being arrested on Tuesday afternoon, he also allegedly tampered with two other cameras on that same service road, at the intersection with Hawkins Avenue.

After an investigation, officers arrested Ruth at his home on Stewart Circle.

He was charged with four counts of third-degree criminal tampering and four counts of second-degree obstruction of governmental administration.

Attorney information for Ruth was not immediately available on Wednesday.

The red light cameras, which are maintained by Baltimore-based Affiliated Computer Services Incorporated, take photographs at busy intersections throughout Suffolk County, recording license plates of vehicles whose drivers run through a red light or do not come to a complete stop before making a right turn on a red signal. The company reviews the photos snapped — and gets final approval from the county — and for each confirmed violation, the registered owner of the vehicle receives a $50 traffic citation.

Suffolk’s red light camera program began in summer 2010, and signs alert approaching drivers at every intersection where there is a camera.

Unlike other moving violations, red light camera violations do not add points to a driver’s license, as the cameras only record rear license plates and cannot confirm the driver of a violating vehicle.

Cops charge Eddie Schmidt with grand, petit larceny as association continues search for missing finances

Former Poquott civic President Eddie Schmidt goes over civic matters over the summer. File photo by Barbara Donlon

Former Poquott Village Trustee Eddie Schmidt, who was accused of stealing more than $23,000 from the civic association while the 22-year-old was the group’s president, was arrested and charged with grand and petit larcenies last week.

Police said Schmidt, who was arrested at 10:45 a.m. on Aug. 17 at his home on Birchwood Avenue, was charged with two counts of petit larceny and one count of grand larceny for incidents of theft that occurred between September 2013 and May 2014, according to a police spokeswoman. She said Schmidt took cash from the Poquott Civic Association.

Tad Scharfenberg, an attorney representing Schmidt, called the situation “outrageous,” and said “from what I’ve seen he’s actually done nothing wrong.” In a phone interview on Tuesday, Scharfenberg defended his client and said he didn’t steal any money.

“They’re just unhappy with the way it was spent.”

Scharfenberg said Schmidt didn’t spend any of the money on himself. Asked what he spent the money on, Schmidt’s attorney said they’re analyzing that now, and he called it a “situation where I don’t think he did a great job of record keeping.”

“This is a really good kid,” Scharfenberg said. “College kid, working hard. They’re trying to blow him up and it’s not right.”

The arrest marks a milestone in a saga that had gripped the village earlier this year, when civic officials alleged he took more than $23,000 while he was the president of the Poquott Civic Association.

Officials had claimed that while president, Schmidt used money raised at civic events to purchase things unrelated to civic expenses, like gasoline, Vineyard Vines clothing and dining at gourmet restaurants.

Schmidt resigned as president of the group last September.

Earlier this year, Schmidt fired back against the accusations in an email, breaking his silence since the allegations arose late last year. He called the claims rumors.

“The silence was a courtesy as I thought the present Board was genuinely working towards a mutual agreement between us to benefit the community. Unfortunately, the board was not genuine in its dealings, and has acted contrary to resolution,” Schmidt said in the letter. “I am writing this letter now to explain the situation, as I have genuine concerns regarding the presentation of the information by the Board, and by the climate of rumor that has spread throughout our village.”

In that letter, he spoke about the events he helped bring forward as president of the civic, despite carrying a hefty workload while attending college at 19 years old.

“I did my best to work towards common ground while rumors became widespread, and incorrect information and damaging assumptions were presented.”

In March, Poquott Civic Association officials spoke publicly about a potential settlement between Schmidt and the board for $15,000. President Carol Pesek said at the time that the settlement offer was for $15,000 — $5,000 less than the money originally demanded late last year — and also included a controversial confidentiality clause that would forbid the board from speaking of the matter. There was also a nondisclosure clause that would forbid it from letting the community know where the money came from, and an agreement that Schmidt would not be prosecuted, the civic board said. But civic officials couldn’t get past the confidentiality clause.

It’s not immediately clear what happened to that settlement offer.

Suffolk County police car. File photo

A motorcyclist was seriously injured on Friday when his head struck a curb in Elwood.

The Suffolk County Police Department said 44-year-old Greenlawn resident Joseph Alyward was wearing a helmet when he lost control of his bike, a 2012 Harley Davidson Legend, while traveling east on Little Plains Road. At about 6:30 p.m., near Hillock Court, his helmeted head struck a curb.

Alyward was in critical condition at Stony Brook University Hospital, police said. It did not appear that any other vehicles were involved in the crash.

Detectives from the SCPD’s 2nd Squad are investigating the incident. Anyone who may have witnessed it is asked to call them at 631-854-8252.

A patrol wagon, c. 1905, used by the 145th Precinct in Brooklyn. Photo from LIM

The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook recently welcomed a terrific new addition to its carriage collection: a police wagon used by the 145th Police Precinct to patrol the waterfront areas of Gowanus, Brooklyn, in the early 1900s.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, urban police departments used a variety of different types of vehicles: Black Marias and Paddy Wagons were used to transport prisoners, and had an enclosed space in the back, with padded interior walls. The New York City Police Department purchased its first such wagon in 1886 for $500.

This patrol wagon, c. 1905, was a little more versatile and facilitated the rapid movement of police officers to scenes of disorder or disaster. The wagon has two benches for patrolmen to sit in back and rides lower and faster for pursuit and quick response. Such wagons were used right into the early automobile era.

The wagon is a gift from the Museum of the City of New York, on view on MCNY’s first floor for many years, but has been off display for more than a decade. A transfer of ownership was made to the Long Island Museum due to storage space limitations. It will now be featured in the Long Island Museum’s Streets of New York gallery in the carriage museum, a great complement to the museum’s firefighting vehicles and other urban public-use vehicles in that space.

Located at 1200 Route 25A in Stony Brook, the Long Island Museum is a Smithsonian affiliate, dedicated to American history and art with a Long Island connection. Along with the 40,000-square-foot carriage museum, the museum also features an art museum, Blacksmith Shop, Nassakeag Schoolhouse, c. 1877, Ploch-Williamson Barn, c. 1794,  a decoy gallery in the Visitors Center and an herb garden.

The museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Regular admission is $10 per person, $7 for seniors and $5 for students ages 6 to 17. Children under 6 and museum members are free. For more information call 631-751-0066 or visit www.longislandmuseum.org.

DWI identity crisis
Police arrested a 21-year-old Center Moriches woman at Linden Place in Port Jefferson shortly after midnight on Aug. 15 for speeding and failing to stay in her lane. According to police, the woman, who was driving while ability impaired, was in a 2012 Honda Civic and provided the officer with a fake name when she was pulled over.

On the fence
A 21-year-old man was arrested on West Broadway in Port Jefferson on Aug. 16 at 3 a.m. for criminal misconduct with the intent to damage property. According to police, the man punched and kicked a nearby fence with the help of two other men, a 24-year-old and a 21-year-old.

Can you hear me rocking?
Police said someone shattered the front windshield of a 2000 Chevrolet Blazer with a rock between Aug. 11 and 12 on Main Street in Port Jefferson. No arrests were made.

The Great Train Robbery
On Aug. 14 at 5:30 a.m., three people approached a man at the Port Jefferson Long Island Rail Road station and threw him to the ground. Police said they stole cash, jewelry and a cellphone. There have been no arrests.

Breaking and entering and exiting
Police arrested a 44-year-old man from Patchogue on Aug. 16 after he pried open the side door of Fox Linen Service on Wilson Street in Port Jefferson Station. The arrest took place at 2:35 p.m. According to the police, nothing was stolen.

Carded
Police said an unknown suspect made several unauthorized transactions on a Mount Sinai resident’s Citibank debit card on Aug. 12.

Concussed
A 49-year-old Port Jefferson woman was arrested on Aug. 12 in Selden, about a month after police said she punched another woman in the face at Portside Bar & Grill on East Main Street down Port. The victim suffered a concussion.

All in a day’s yard work
A man who arrived at a residence on Tyler Avenue in Miller Place on Aug. 14 to do yard work was assaulted by the tenant’s girlfriend.

Feel the Millburn
Someone punched a complainant in the face during a dispute on Millburn Road in Sound Beach on Aug. 12.

Tapped out
According to police, someone punched a man in the face at The North Tap on Route 25A in Mount Sinai on Aug. 15. The victim was taken to Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson to treat his injuries.

Grand larceny, grand pushing
An 18-year-old man from South Setauket was arrested at the precinct on Aug. 12 and charged with grand larceny. Police said he threatened a teller at the Chase bank on Nesconset Highway in Stony Brook and demanded money. The man was also charged with obstruction. According to police, the man pushed away and attempted to grab an officer who was trying to get information regarding another investigation.

The case of the forgotten bills
While paying for items at the 7-Eleven on Old Town Road in Port Jefferson Station, a woman forgot a bank envelope with money on the counter. The incident happened at 6:18 p.m. on Aug. 14. Police said when she returned for the envelope at a later time, it was gone.

Left unlocked
Someone took a pocketbook and a wallet from an unlocked car on Longview Avenue in Rocky Point on Aug. 13, at 1:30 a.m. The case is still under investigation.

Police said an unknown male took a Cobra dash cam from an unlocked red 2002 Mitsubishi on Monticello Drive in Shoreham. There have been no arrests made in relation to the incident, which happened on Aug. 13 at 3:19 a.m.

According to police, someone entered a 2010 Honda on Dare Road in Selden between Aug. 12 at 3 a.m. and Aug. 13 at 10 p.m. and stole a Dell laptop. The case is under investigation.

Someone stole cash from a 2008 Toyota RAV4 between 11 p.m. on Aug. 13 and 1:15 a.m. on Aug. 14. Police said the car was unlocked and parked in a Port Jefferson Station driveway.

That’s an order
Police said a 23-year-old man from Mount Sinai was arrested at 11:45 a.m. on Lyon Crescent on Aug. 13. According to police, the man violated an order of protection.

Verbal argument escalates
A female driver had a verbal argument with a male operating another vehicle on Holbrook Road in Centereach on Aug. 14 at 8:37 p.m. The male got out of his car and punched the rear-driver side of the complainant’s vehicle.

Jam-packed
A 46-year-old man from Sayville was arrested in Stony Brook on Aug. 14 and charged with petit larceny. Police said the man stole socks and a backpack from Marshall’s on Nesconset Highway at about 3:30 p.m. He was arrested at the scene.

About to blow
An 18-year-old man from South Setauket was arrested by police on Aug. 13 at noon and charged with attempted second-degree grand larceny by extortion and second-degree falsely reporting an incident. Police said he called up the Chase Bank on Nesconset Highway in Stony Brook and threatened to blow the bank up in an attempt to get money. The attempt was unsuccessful, police said.

Harassed
A man told police that a male suspect pulled a door on Ringneck Lane in Setauket on Aug. 13 at about 3 a.m., threatening physical harm to him. Police said the complainant said the suspect threatened to fight him. There have been no arrests.

A pair of petit larcenies
Two women, both of Bohemia, one 46 and one 16, were arrested on Aug. 15 in Setauket-East Setauket and each charged with one count of petit larceny. Police said the women took assorted merchandise from Walmart on Nesconset Highway in Setauket-East Setauket and left the store without paying for the items. The incident happened at about 7 p.m., police said.

Is that a red light?
A 26-year-old Stony Brook man was arrested by police on Aug. 15 at about 3 a.m. and charged with driving while intoxicated, a first offense. Police said the man was driving a 2000 Jeep and ended up driving through a red light at the intersection of Route 25A and Nichols Road. Police interviewed the defendant and found him under the influence. He was arrested at the scene.

What interlock device?
Suffolk County police arrested a 46-year-old man from Mastic on Aug. 15 in Smithtown and charged him with using a vehicle without an interlock device. Police said the man was driving a 2006 Ford van without the device, despite a court order. He was arrested at 10 a.m. at the LIE westbound on Commack Road.

Can’t stay in the lines
A 22-year-old Kings Park man was arrested in Smithtown on Aug. 13 and charged with first-degree driving while intoxicated. Police said the man was driving a 1997 Mercedez Benz northbound on St. Johnland Road in Smithtown at about 2 a.m. when he drove onto the shoulder and failed to maintain his lane. He was arrested at the scene in the vicinity of River Heights Drive.

Crash ’n dash
Police arrested a 22-year-old woman from Brentwood on Aug. 13 and charged her with operating a motor vehicle and leaving the scene of an accident causing property damage. Police said the woman was driving a 2015 Honda Civic on Oser Avenue in Hauppauge, when she went through a steady red traffic light and crashed into a 2010 Nissan, damaging the vehicle. There were no injuries. The incident occurred at 6:37 a.m. and police arrested the woman later at Veterans Highway and Old Willets Path in Smithtown at about 11 a.m.

One bump too much
A 27-year-old woman from Kings Park was arrested in Smithtown on Aug. 13 and charged with first-degree operating a motor vehicle impaired by drugs. Police said the woman hit the rear bumper of a vehicle stopped in front of her on East Main Street in Smithtown at about 9:08 p.m. She was arrested at the scene a short time later.

Wheeled away
A pair of people told police two bikes  left in a wooded area on West Main Street in Smithtown on Aug. 15 were gone when they returned to them. The incident happened sometime between 6:30 and 7:17 p.m.

Party foul
Police said a man went to a house party on Queen Anne Place in Hauppauge on the evening of Aug. 15 and was beaten up by a group of 15 men there. Cops said the man didn’t know the people at the house party but asked if he could enter and was granted permission to attend. He told police that the men approached him and began kicking and punching him in the face and head. He went to St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown for treatment of injuries. The incident happened at about 9:45 p.m.

Ttyl, ATV
Someone stole a 2008 Yamaha Raptor ATV from the front yard of a home on Old Willets Path in Smithtown sometime between 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 13 and 3 p.m. on Aug. 14. There have been no arrests.

Graffiti mystery
Police received reports of two separate incidents of graffiti on Lake Avenue in St. James last week. Cops said that someone made graffiti on the Eddy’s Power Equipment Inc. building sometime between Aug. 12 and 14. Police got another report of graffiti, this time on a building and PVC fence, sometime between Aug. 13 and 14.

A fit at Flowerfield
Someone smashed a glass mirror of a restroom at Flowerfield in St. James, broke a paper towel dispenser, emptied a fire extinguisher in the hallway and stole the fire extinguisher from the business. The incidents occurred between Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. and Aug. 13 at 7 a.m.

Fleeting feeder
Someone stole a bird feeder from a location on Lake Avenue in Saint James sometime between 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 12 and 2 p.m. on Aug. 13.

Suffolk and Nassau County fire departments tried to smoke their competition on Saturday, Aug. 15, at New York State’s annual Motorized Drill, at Fireman’s Memorial Park in Ridge.

Fifty drill teams competed to earn the title of state champion at the event, which featured eight challenges including the 3 Man Ladder; the Motor Hook and Ladder class B and C contests; the Motor Hose class B and C contests; Efficiency; Motor Pump and Buckets.

While two teams, the Central Islip Hoboes and the West Sayville Flying Dutchmen, were crowned co-champions, the Miller Place Extinguishers didn’t place in the competition. Other local teams like the Selden Slowpokes competed in the event, but they also didn’t place in the competition. The Rocky Point Rum Raiders didn’t attend the event.

The Extinguishers placed sixth in the 3 Man Ladder challenge, but took the 23rd place in the B Ladder challenge. They then came in 29th place for the B Hose and Efficiency challenge. The team didn’t participate in the C Ladder and C Hose challenges, but they came in 14th for the Motor Pump and 28th for the Buckets portions of the competition.

According to Michael Heller of the New York State Drill Teams organization that helps plan the event, the eight obstacles in the competition are similar to those used to train firefighters. Although the competition is entertaining, Heller and Chief Michael Matteo of the Selden Fire Department said that the event helps with teamwork and relationship building.

“When you join a team — a competition team — everyone has their role to play, so they all work together as a team to accomplish the goal,” Heller said. “Firefighters on a team are used to working well with each other, and understand working with each other. Teamwork is critical when you’re in a fire to understand what a person is doing and what to do next.”

These competitions began in the 1800s, according to Heller and Matteo, but Matteo added that there are few places where 40 or more groups of people in New York State can get together, compete and congratulate their fellow competitors for their participation in the event.

On September 6, 1872 the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York was established in Auburn, which led to more organized competitions among the fire departments.

“They started with only the old fashion where it was all pull carts and steam engines and things like that, and then they moved into the motorized,” Matteo said.

The competition was the biggest event that the Selden Fire Department hosted thus far. They have held smaller events for the fire departments in the past, like the Selden Invitational Firefighter’s Drill.

Matteo also said there were around three teams that came back to compete in the Motorized Drill competition, as participants had been lacking in previous years, and few times there were repeat competitors. Additionally, there were around seven teams that could have taken first place after the Buckets challenge, the last part of the competition, but didn’t have as many points as the co-champions, making for a highly-contested day. According to Matteo, this typically doesn’t happen, but said it was nice to see.

“It’s just a great thing for the fire service,” Matteo said of the competition. “Ninty-five percent of firefighters are volunteers, so we’re giving our time when we’re not working one or two jobs. We’re taking away [time] from our families and we’re going out there.”