02/06/14 3:07pm
02/06/2014 3:07 PM
MONWELL WRIGHT MUG SHOT

MONWELL WRIGHT MUG SHOT

The homeless man charged in a Polish Town armed robbery attempt last month last month may have connections to “similar” incidents in the area, county prosecutors said at the man’s arraignment Thursday morning.

Monwell Wright, 20, was indicted by a grand jury and charged with two counts of felony attempted robbery, and one count each of felony and misdemeanor assault before Judge William Condon in Suffolk County court.

(more…)

01/25/14 7:20pm
01/25/2014 7:20 PM

pulaskimap

Update, Saturday 7 p.m.: A 20-year-old man previously arrested for stealing a pickup truck in December has been charged with felony attempted robbery and assault in the Friday morning mugging of a Riverhead man near Sweezy Avenue, town police said.

Monwell Wright — who police said was homeless — was arrested on Railroad Avenue about 2:10 p.m. Saturday following an investigation, police said. Mr. Wright did not resist arrest, police said.

Mr. Wright was charged with two counts of felony attempted robbery, one count of assault and one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance.

According to a police statement, the victim — 26-year-old Ervin Guzman — was walking on Sweezy Avenue about 6:15 a.m. when Mr. Wright and a woman approached him near the intersection of Pulaski Street, according to a report.

Police said the woman pointed a handgun at Mr. Guzman, while Mr. Wright reportedly hit Mr. Guzman over the head, face and shoulder with a large rock, sending him to the ground. Throughout the assault, Mr. Wright demanded the victim to give him cash.

Mr. Wright continued to beat Mr. Guzman with the rock until a vehicle passed by, causing Mr. Wright and the woman to flee without any of the victim’s money, authorities said.

Mr. Guzman walked home to call police, and was later transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center with facial, head and shoulder injuries, police said.

At the time of his arrest Saturday afternoon, Mr. Wright was carrying a Desert Eagle airsoft pistol and two prescription medicines designed to treat opioid addiction by applying the strips under the tongue. He was taken to police headquarters and held for arraignment.

Mr. Wright had been arrested earlier this month, after police said he stole a parked car at a deli on Osborn Avenue in late December.

The owner of a Ford F-250 told police on Dec. 28 that he went into Express Deli and came out to find his vehicle stolen, according to a police report. The car was later found and recovered at Gershow Recycling on Hubbard Avenue in Riverhead.

Police said that further investigation led them to 20-year-old Monwell Wright, who was arrested on a felony charge of criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree.

He was arraigned on the stolen property charge and was originally held on $500 bail, police said. But Mr. Wright was released from jail on his own recognizance on Jan. 10, jail officials said.

Police did not disclose whether Mr. Wright is a suspect in a second attempted robbery Friday night.

psquire@timesreview.com

Original story: A Riverhead man was held at gunpoint and then beaten over the head while walking to work on Sweezy Avenue early Friday morning, Riverhead Town police said.

Ervin Guzman, 26, was walking on Sweezy Avenue when a man and woman approached him near the intersection of Pulaski Street about 6:15 a.m., according to a report.

Police said the woman pointed a handgun at Mr. Guzman, while the man demanded he hand over his money, and then reportedly hit Mr. Guzman over the head with a large rock, sending him to the ground.

The man continued to hit Mr. Guzman with the rock until a vehicle passed by, causing the duo to flee, authorities said.

Mr. Guzman walked home to call police, and was later transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center with facial, head and shoulder injuries, police said.

The investigation is ongoing, according to police.

Anyone with information is asked to call Riverhead Police at (631) 727-4500 ext. 313.

cmiller@timesreview.com

01/25/14 7:42am
GOOGLE MAPS PHOTO | A red marker shows the location of a second reported mugging in Riverhead in less than 24 hours.

GOOGLE MAPS PHOTO | A red marker shows the location of a second reported mugging in Riverhead in less than 24 hours.

Less than a day after a man was beaten in an attempted armed robbery in Polish Town Friday, a second victim has been mugged at gunpoint less than five blocks away, Riverhead Town police said.

The reported victim — identified by police as Baldomero Cujon Cotzoj, 33, of Calverton — was walking south on Griffing Avenue just north of the railroad tracks about 10 p.m. Friday when he was approached by two men, police said. One of the men grabbed him and displayed a handgun while the second man stood at his side, according to a police statement.

The armed man demanded cash from the victim, and then beat him in the head several times with the butt of the handgun, police said. The two men ran off in an unknown direction without taking any cash from the victim, according to the statement.

The victim called police, who arrived at the scene with the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps. The man was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center, treated for non life-threatening injuries and released, police said.

The armed robbery was the second reported mugging in that area in less than 24 hours.

About 6:15 Friday morning, a Riverhead man was held at gunpoint by a man and a woman, then beaten over the head with a rock while walking to work on Sweezy Avenue near Pulaski Street, Riverhead Town police said.

The two suspects in that robbery ran off when a car passed by. No money was stolen in that robbery either, police said. Friday morning’s victim walked home to call police, and was later taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center with facial, head and shoulder injuries, police said.

Police did not say whether detectives believe the two incident are related or not. The investigations into both reported crimes are ongoing, according to police.

Anyone with information is asked to call Riverhead Police at (631) 727-4500 ext. 313.

psquire@timesreview.com

01/14/14 11:45am
01/14/2014 11:45 AM

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Officials investigate a spill at Hunter Insulation on Elton Street in Riverhead Tuesday morning.

Riverhead Police have closed a portion of Elton Street in Riverhead this morning in response to a liquid leaking from a dumpster on the property of Hunter Insulation. The road is closed between East Main Street and Howell Street.

It’s unclear what the spill is yet. Riverhead Fire Department and the Department of Environmental Conservation’s spill response team are currently investigating on scene.

The clear, white liquid is leaking from barrels loaded in a dumpster by the loading area and running down the driveway into the side of the street. Fans are being used to try to prevent the liquid from reaching the street.

01/13/14 12:00pm
01/13/2014 12:00 PM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Officer John Morris (right) accepts his 'Cop of the Year' award at Friday night's dinner.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Officer John Morris (right) accepts his ‘Cop of the Year’ award at Friday night’s dinner.

When a suspect was caught on Harrison Avenue last year, Riverhead police officer John Morris found the weapon. When the other East End towns or the county police came calling for help, Mr. Morris responded, helping to make “numerous arrests,” according to his fellow officers.

“Without a doubt … he’s a professional for us and he shines as a Riverhead cop,” said police officer Dennis Cavanagh.

Mr. Morris won the Police Benevolent Association’s “Cop of the Year” award during the organization’s annual installation dinner at the Suffolk Theater Friday night.

A veteran of the force for more than a decade, Mr. Morris is a member of one of two K9 units in Riverhead Town. Since Riverhead is the only town department with multiple police dogs available, Mr. Morris helps to assist other towns’ investigations when state police or the Sheriff’s Office aren’t available.

His dedication is what makes him “stand out as a leader among the men and women of the Riverhead Police Department,” said Town Supervisor Sean Walter.

“Officer Morris exemplifies what it means to be a Riverhead police officer,” Mr. Walter said.

Councilman James Wooten, a former police officer and former president of the PBA, also praised Mr. Morris’ work ethic.

“To do your job and do it well, you have to be dedicated,” Mr. Wooten said. “That’s what you do, John. And you do it well.”

Several other officers were also honored at the PBA’s dinner.

Officer Ed Carey earned the “Man of the Year” award for helping to support his department in their time of need when two members of the force — Robert Boden and Ben Goodale — died suddenly in October, just a week apart.

Mr. Carey, a fire commissioner with the Riverhead Fire Department, helped organize the processions for both men.

“When the funerals came, this guy stepped up,” Mr. Cavanagh said while presenting the award.

Mr. Cavanagh himself won a special “President’s Award” at the event for his efforts for the department. Former officer Richard Von Voight was also honored for his years of service to the PBA, and accepted the award with his son, David, who joined the town police department in December 2012.

psquire@timesreview.com

01/09/14 9:46am
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Glass on the rear parking lot behind the Treasure Cove Marina and Hyatt Hotel.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Glass on the rear parking lot behind the Treasure Cove Marina and Hyatt Hotel.

Update, 12:00 p.m.: Hyatt executive director Bryan DeLuca confirmed that the teenager reportedly shot at Wednesday night was not a registered guest at the hotel.

Update, 10:30 a.m.: Hyatt general manager Steve Shauger said Thursday morning that he was unsure if the Bellport man reportedly involved in a Wednesday night shooting downtown was staying at the hotel as the teen had told police.

Shauger added in the morning that while the shooting was seen by witnesses at the hotel, and the man involved said he was at the hotel parking lot when it took place, the incident itself took place in the Treasure Cove parking lot.

“It was a shock when I heard about it this morning. The hotel hasn’t had any kinds of problems like this in the past,” he said.

The general manager added that security is on throughout the night guarding “the campus” between Hyatt Place, the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center. In addition, one desk agent is working at the front of the hotel during the night shift. Though he added that the employee didn’t hear anything until police showed up.

Original story: A shooting in downtown Riverhead Wednesday night left a Bellport teenager with a broken car window as he fled the scene near the Hyatt Hotel, Riverhead Town police said. No injuries were reported.

Police pulled over a car driving erratically on East Main Street about 11:15 p.m. last night and officers noticed the driver’s side window was broken. Jerome Eleazer, 19, told police that two masked people approached his car and one fired shots toward his vehicle in the rear parking lot of the Hyatt Hotel, where he had been staying, police said.

The suspects approached the car and ordered him out of the vehicle, police said. When he didn’t get out, one of the suspects fired into the car as Mr. Eleazer fled the scene, police said. Police do not currently suspect it was a random act. Mr. Eleazer, who was uninjured, told police he didn’t want to pursue the incident further.

Police reported that several witnesses at Hyatt Hotel saw the incident occur. Witnesses reported the suspects fired at the building and then fled with two other people in a car, police said.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact Riverhead police at (631) 727-4500.

According to court records, Mr. Eleazer pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs in November 2011. He was also arrested on a charge of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance last October. Court records show he missed his Jan. 7 court appearance and is due back in court Feb. 4.

WITH JOE PINCIARO

01/06/14 4:55pm
01/06/2014 4:55 PM

Riverhead police copsRiverhead Police arrested a homeless man after they said he stole a parked car at a deli on Osborn Avenue in late December.

According to police, the owner of a Ford F-250 reported on Dec. 28 that he went into Express Deli and came out to find his vehicle stolen. The car was later recovered at Gershow Recycling on Hubbard Avenue in Riverhead.

Police said that further investigation led them to 20-year-old Monwell Wright, who was arrested shortly before noon on Monday.

Mr. Wright was arrested on a felony charge of criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree. He was arraigned, held on $500 bail and is due back in court on Friday.

01/03/14 3:18pm
01/03/2014 3:18 PM

A 43-year old Flanders man was arrested on burglary charges after Riverhead Town police responded to an early morning alarm at an East Main Street gas station, according to a report.

Police arrived at Gulf Gas station about 3:40 a.m. and found a rear door had been forced open, and one of the windows broken, authorities said.

Soon after, Jeffery Pittman was discovered hiding inside a shed located in the rear of the Riverhead station, which had also been forced open, according to a report.

Mr. Pittman was arrested and charged with third-degree burglary, and possession of burglar’s tools, police said.

He is currently being held at Suffolk County jail on $10,000 bail, authorities said.

Riverhead PD Car - 500