Riverhead police officer, K-9 partner to be honored Jan. 7

12/27/2013 12:09 PM |
TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | Riverhead Town Police Officer John Doscinski and his partner, Vaki.

TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | Riverhead Town Police Officer John Doscinski and his partner, Vaki.

The Riverhead Town Police K-9 unit is expected to be honored Jan. 7 for assisting East Hampton Village police with an arrest made last month.

Riverhead Police Officer John Doscinski and his K-9 partner, Vaki, nabbed a 33-year-old man reportedly breaking into cars around East Hampton Village on Nov. 21, according to a Riverhead police press release issued Friday.

Officers tracked the fleeing suspect for about a mile before forcing him out of hiding behind a vacant house, officials said.

EAST HAMPTON VILLAGE POLICE MUG SHOT | James Sbardella.

EAST HAMPTON VILLAGE POLICE MUG SHOT | James Sbardella.

East Hampton Village police were first called onto the scene near Buell Lane at around 8 p.m. after a resident confronted James Sbardella of East Hampton attempting to enter into multiple vehicles, according to officials and a police report.

“After a brief scuffle, the resident went back inside his home and quickly notified local police,” Riverhead police’s release states. “Due to the immediacy of the situation, a Suffolk County helicopter and the Riverhead Town Police K-9 unit were called to assist.”

East Hampton Village police arrested Mr. Sbardella and charged him with fourth-degree attempted grand larceny, second-degree burglary and unlawful possession of marijuana, according to the police report.

Mr. Sbardella pled guilty to third-degree burglary on Dec. 4 and is due back in court Jan. 17 for sentencing, according to online court documents.

In a statement, Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller commended Officer Doscinski, who has been on the force for 24 years, and his 5-year-old German Shepherd.

“This was a great job by Officer Doscinski and Vaki to assist our neighbors to the east,” Chief Hegermiller said in a press release. “This is the way it is supposed to work — cooperating with nearby municipalities to keep our neighborhoods safe.”

Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter is expected to honor Officer Doscinski and his K-9 partner at 2 p.m. Jan. 7 in Town Hall.

jennifer@timesreview.com