11/13/14 10:55am
11/13/2014 10:55 AM

A Riverhead man led police on a chase along the Peconic riverfront early Thursday after he allegedly carjacked a woman’s vehicle at a nearby gas station and then tried to push the car into the river, state police said.

booker(3)

Michael Booker mug shot (Credit: New York State police)

A woman ran to the state police barracks in Riverside about 1:45 a.m. to report that her vehicle, a 2008 Nissan, was just stolen by force at the Valero Gas Station in the Riverside traffic circle, according to a police news release. Troopers searched the area and found a man — later identified as 29-year-old Michael Booker — trying to push the stolen vehicle into the Peconic River from the rear parking lot of the McDonalds on Flanders Road, police said.

Mr. Booker tried to run away on foot, and was “quickly apprehended,” according to the news release.

He was arrested and charged with felony robbery, felony criminal mischief, misdemeanor reckless endangerment and harassment, a violation. He was arraigned in Southampton Town Justice Court and held in Suffolk County jail without bail, police said.

psquire@timesreview.com

11/01/13 4:00pm
11/01/2013 4:00 PM
JUAN MENDEZ-DEPAZ MUG SHOT

JUAN MENDEZ-DEPAZ MUG SHOT

A Flanders man accused of demanding hamburgers and cash from a Riverside fast food restaurant and threatening to shoot an employee earlier this week is now being held by federal immigration authorities.

Juan Mendez-DePaz, 33, appeared in Southampton Town Justic Court Friday morning in a dark green jumpsuit, where his legal aid attorney said Mr. Mendez-DePaz was being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials following his arrest on weapons and robbery charges.

State police say Mr. Mendez-DePaz walked up to the drive-through window at the McDonald’s on Flanders Road about 12:05 a.m. wearing a cowboy hat and a black vest.

Mr. Mendez-DePaz told an employee there that he had two guns in his vest and threatened to open fire unless he was given “some hamburgers and money”, police said. The worker closed the window and called 911, and “within minutes” state troopers and Southampton Town police found Mr. Mendez-DePaz in the parking lot, according to a state police statement.

The Flanders man allegedly showed police a “large knife” on his hip, and was apprehended after fighting with police, state police said. The man was apprehended a few minutes later after a “brief struggle” with police, according to a police statement.

During Mr. Mendez-DePaz’s court appearance his attorney, Michael Dipresso, said he had spoken with the assistant district attorney handling the case and downplayed the severity of the allegations.

“The situation is actually not as severe as the charges suggest,” he told Southampton Town judge Deborah Kooperstein.

Mr. Dipresso declined to comment about his client’s case to a reporter.

He has been charged with misdemeanor criminal possession of a weapon and felony robbery. His bail — set at $50,000, court officials said — was continued.

psquire@timesreview.com

10/28/13 4:40pm
10/28/2013 4:40 PM
JUAN MENDEZ-DEPAZ MUG SHOT

JUAN MENDEZ-DEPAZ MUG SHOT

A Flanders man is facing weapons and robbery charges after he allegedly walked up to a fast food restaurant drive-through window in Riverside early Sunday and threatened to shoot an employee if the worker didn’t give the man hamburgers and money, state police said.

The man was apprehended a few minutes later after a “brief struggle” with police, according to a police statement.

Police said 33-year-old Juan Mendez-DePaz walked up to the drive-through window at the McDonald’s on Flanders Road about 12:05 a.m. wearing a cowboy hat and a black vest.

Mr. Mendez-DePaz put his hand inside his vest and told the employee at the drive through window that he had two guns in his vest and threatened to shoot unless he was given hamburgers and cash, police said.

The employee immediately closed the window and called 911. State troopers and Southampton Town police got to the scene “within minutes” and found Mr. Mendez-DePaz in the parking lot based on his description. The robber allegedly showed police a “large knife” on his hip, and was apprehended after fighting with police.

He was arrested and charged with misdemeanor criminal possession of a weapon and felony robbery. He was held at Suffolk County jail pending arraignment.

psquire@timesreview.com

10/15/13 12:28pm
10/15/2013 12:28 PM

SH_CopsA homeless man was arrested twice in less than six hours at a Riverside fast food restaurant Friday after he allegedly assaulted a man at the restaurant, was arrested, arraigned and released, before trespassing at the same restaurant to buy some food, according to Southampton Town police reports.

Police say William Gilmore Jr., 47, formerly of Florida, “came after” a Manorville man at the McDonald’s on Flanders Road about 9 a.m., punching the victim in the forehead after Gilmore said the Manorville man took his spot in line.

The victim suffered bruises, a scratch above his right eye and a cut above his left eye that required four stitches to close, according to a police report. The victim was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center for treatment, while Mr. Gilmore was arrested by police.

Mr. Gilmore was charged with third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, and was taken to police headquarters. He was later arraigned and released by the court and was warned not to return to the restaurant, police said.

But the man went back to the McDonalds about 3 p.m., police said.

The manager signed a trespassing affidavit stating Mr. Gilmore came back to the restaurant and bought some food. Mr. Gilmore was arrested again by police and charged with third-degree criminal trespassing.

He was arraigned and was held at Suffolk County jail on $2,500 cash bail, police said.