If you’ve followed the Riverhead Industrial Development Agency over the years, you may feel like it’s never voted down anything.
A Calverton man accused his pregnant girlfriend of cheating on him with his brother before beating and stabbing her at Tanger Outlets last month, holding her hostage and threatening to kill her during the assault, prosecutors said at the man’s arraignment in Suffolk County criminal court Thursday afternoon.
Paul Thompson Jr., 24, was arraigned on a 10-count grand jury indictment as his family looked on and is now being held at Suffolk County jail on $100,000 cash bail.
He was charged with second-degree assault and grand larceny, both felonies, as well as misdemeanor counts including menacing, criminal obstruction of breath, petit larceny and unlawful imprisonment.
Mr. Thompson — who had been arrested eight times before the incident, including one “violent felony” — went shopping at the outlet center with his 23-year-old girlfriend the night of Sept. 28, said assistant district attorney Eric Aboulafia during the arraignment.
But as the couple was getting back into his girlfriend’s car, Mr. Thompson accused her of cheating on him with his brother, Mr. Aboulafia said.
When she denied the accusation, Mr. Thompson began to hit her in the face, prosecutors said.
“During the beating, the defendant told her he wished she wasn’t pregnant,” Mr. Aboulafia added.
Mr. Thompson then allegedly forced the victim to drive to an area behind the outlets, where he pulled a knife from the back seat of the car and “threatened to kill her on multiple occasions,” prosecutors said. He stabbed her multiple times in her leg while inside the car, Mr. Aboulafia said.
Mr. Thompson then held the knife to her throat and forced her to drive to his uncle’s house, prosecutors said. He allegedly took away her car keys, cellphone and credit card, but she was able to escape near Midway Drive, locking herself into a nearby family’s home.
The family let her call the police and the victim was rushed to Peconic Bay Medical Center, where she required surgery to repair a ruptured artery, Mr. Aboulafia said.
Mr. Thompson — who was also wanted for a violation of probation — was arrested by Riverhead Town police in Mastic the next day. In court, Mr. Thompson stood silently near the bench in a green jumpsuit as the assistant district attorney described him as a “violent felon with a history of crime.”
Mr. Thompson’s legal aid attorney, Ed Vitale, acknowledged that Mr. Thompson was already being held on the probation violation, and asked that bail be set so Mr. Thompson could begin to accrue time served.
Judge William Condon set bail at $100,000 cash, or $200,000 bond.
As Mr. Thompson was led away by security officers, his mother, Tara, stood up in court and told him, “Love you.”
“I don’t condone what he did, but the truth will come out,” she said outside the courtroom. “He’s not the monster you see in the newspaper.”
Ms. Thompson also said she was concerned with how the victim was recovering.
“We used to talk all the time,” she said. “Now — it’s understandable.”
Other family members said Mr. Thompson had moved on from the relationship at the time of the incident and said the girlfriend who was allegedly attacked at Tanger Outlets had accosted him multiple times in the past.
Mr. Thompson is due back in court on Nov. 7.