03/05/14 10:00am
03/05/2014 10:00 AM
NEWS-REVIEW FILE PHOTO | The state Armory building on Route 58.

The state Armory building on Route 58. (Credit: file photo)

Renovating the former Armory building on Route 58 into a police headquarters and justice court will cost an estimated $11.3 million, according to an engineering report commissioned by Riverhead Town.  (more…)

05/22/13 9:00am
05/22/2013 9:00 AM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | The widow's walk-type structure atop a Calverton home is teh start of a grand plan to match an 8,500-square-foot South Fork mansion.

PAUL SQUIRE FILE PHOTO | This widow’s walk-type structure atop a Calverton home was the start of a grand plan to match an 8,500-square-foot South Fork mansion, the homeowners had said.

A Calverton man is no longer facing criminal charges for allegedly building an illegal tower out of the top of his Founders Path house, after he was found to be unable to defend himself in court Tuesday due to mental illness and is being sent to a psychiatric facility.

Eugene Lafurno, 58, had been arrested April 5 on an active warrant issued last October, officials said.

Town officials say the half-finished tower Mr. Lafurno built may exceed the town’s height limit for houses and was built without a valid building permit.

He was arrested by town police after he refused to answer to the alleged code violations in Town Justice Court.

Mr. Lafurno was found to be “not competent to assist in his defense,” town court officials said. He was remanded to a Suffolk County Department of Health psychiatric facility, officials said.

COURTESY PHOTO | The Calverton home is being modeled after this Remsenburg property currently on the market for $11.5 million.

COURTESY PHOTO | The Calverton home is being modeled after this South Fork estate on the market for $11.5 million.

In an interview in March, Mr. Lafurno — who has lived in Calverton for the past 20 years — said he was modeling his house after a five-bedroom, 8,500-square-foot mansion he once saw in Remsenburg.

The tower is currently topped with exposed wooden beams and tarps; the tower was supposed to be the centerpiece of the home, Mr. Lafurno said.

He said he was trying match his home, which he called “The Epiphany,” to the mansion, which is currently on the market in Remsenberg for $11.5 million. He would then sell it at a hefty profit, he had said.

In a rambling conversation that touched on ancient Egyptian deities and Jesus’ crucifixion, he claimed officials and neighbors were engaging in a conspiracy seeking to trample his dreams and also accused the Riverhead Police Department of “abducting” him, injecting him with drugs, and throwing him into a psychiatric facility.

Riverhead Town officials had begun civil action against the couple for the alleged violations in March.

It was not clear if the ruling in court Tuesday would affect the town’s civil case.

The tower that was built out of the house didn’t match the plans submitted to the town, said town attorney Robert Kozakiewicz, adding the permits issued for Mr. Lafurno’s proposed project had also since expired.


05/21/13 1:26pm
05/21/2013 1:26 PM

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Nathan Streit, 17, who police say is homeless, was found hiding inside an Osborn Avenue house about 11:30 p.m. Monday several hours after shots were fired.

The 17-year-old homeless man allegedly involved in Monday night’s shooting on Raynor Avenue in Polish Town was held on $250,000 bail after answering to a felony charge in Riverhead Town Justice Court this morning.

Nathan Streit was charged with felony second-degree assault, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree reckless endangerment for firing several rounds at Jon Gallo, 26, and Shane Sypher, 25, both of Riverhead, following a confrontation on Raynor Avenue, police said.

Neither man was struck by any of the bullets. Pellets from one round did cause minor injuries to Mr. Gallo’s mother, Sharon, 52, police said.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Confrontation over break-ins led to Polish Town shooting

In court, prosecutors said Mr. Streit fired four rounds Monday night.

He was found hiding about three hours after the shooting inside a nearby Osborn Avenue house, where he apprehended without resistance, police said.

Mr. Streit has no prior arrests or convictions, but has two pending warrants. One in connection with a felony third-degree robbery, which occurred in upstate New York, prosecutors said in court.

Justice Richard Ehlers also granted an order of protection for witnesses involved in the incident.

Mr. Streit is being held on $250,000 cash or $500,000 bond.

He is due back in court tomorrow.