11/06/13 5:00pm
11/06/2013 5:00 PM

A woman who allegedly stole cigarettes and a bottle of cranberry juice from a Riverside gas station last Monday ignored responding officers, resisted arrest and managed to escape after a pair of dogs kept police at bay, according to a Southampton Town police report.

The owner of the Flanders Road station told police that a woman in her mid-20s tried to pay for a pack of Newport cigarettes worth $10.25, and a 32 oz. bottle of Tropicana with her bank card at about 10:35 a.m. When the charge was declined, the woman reportedly put the items in her purse and walked out of the store without paying.

The owner rushed after her, according to a report, grabbing the purse and returning inside to call police. However the woman allegedly fought with the man, grabbing her purse back and fleeing northbound on Flanders Road. The pack of cigarettes fell out of the purse but the woman escaped with the bottle of juice, worth $3.99, police said.

Responding police found the alleged thief in a mobile home park on Flanders Road. Police approached the woman, but a pair of pit bulls began barking at the officers, “preventing the arrest of the suspect,” police said. The woman struggled against police and managed to break free, running away on foot from the officers and along Flanders Road.

The suspect remains at large, according to the report.


11/01/13 4:00pm
11/01/2013 4:00 PM


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.


10/28/13 4:40pm
10/28/2013 4:40 PM


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.


10/26/13 9:01am
10/26/2013 9:01 AM

A 45-year-old East Hampton man was arrested for DWI and other charges in Riverside early Saturday after police spotted his car speeding along Flanders Road, Southampton Town police said.

Cops stopped Edwardo Morgado-Rodriguez just after 1 a.m. and found him to be intoxicated, officials said.

He was arrested and also charged with speeding, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and other traffic violations.


10/24/13 12:00pm
10/24/2013 12:00 PM
TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | Route 24 in Riverside, where a new 'Main Street' is envisioned.

TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | Route 24 in Riverside, where a new ‘Main Street’ is envisioned.

Southampton Town has received a $236,900 Brownfield Opportunity Area grant from New York State to conduct a revitalization plan for the Riverside area.

There are 15 “brownfield” sites in Riverside, which are defined as “dormant properties where the presence or potential presence of contamination has impeded site redevelopment, turning the properties into economic and environmental drains on communities.”

The proposed revitalization plan will address the “Integration and coordination of Town, County, and State efforts, including road improvement, sewer feasibility, and coastal planning studies that are already in progress; The potential for the redevelopment of strategic sites by a master developer’: and quality of life issues such as property maintenance and code enforcement, recruitment of businesses to provide needed goods and services, development of recreation opportunities and waterfront access on public lands, and improved solid waste management services,” according to statement from the town.

There are already several other planning studies in progress for the Riverside area, including a sewer feasibility, a traffic improvement study, a waterfront protection plan, and grant applications to create a walking trail from Flanders Road to the Peconic River and a walking bridge over the river into downtown Riverhead, according to Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst.

In addition, a Flanders/Northampton/Riverside Revitalization Study was completed less than a decade ago.

All aim at revitalizing the distressed hamlet, which has a median income of under $40,000, according to census data – well below the county’s $87,000 and nearby Riverhead hamlet’s $51,000. Riverside was chosen as one of 26 areas across the state to receive a portion of $10 million overall in BOA funding.

Riverhead Town also received a $569,000 BOA grant two years ago and is currently in the process of doing a similar study for the downtown and West Main Street areas.

The Southampton Town Board was scheduled to discuss the Riverside grant its work session on Thursday morning.

“The NYS Brownfields Opportunity Area grant will add much needed state financial support to local economic development initiatives by identifying ways to safely and productively redeploy long dormant or underutilized ‘brownfield’ properties for economic development,” said Vince Taldone, the president of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association, in a town press release.

10/21/13 7:53am
10/21/2013 7:53 AM

SH_CopsSouthampton Town police arrested three men in three separate incidents early on Sunday and Monday mornings on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol in the Flanders-Riverside area.

According to police, Margarito Morales, 35, of Riverhead, was arrested on charges of DWI and several other vehicle and traffic violations about 1:45 a.m. after he was caught driving drunk on Lake Avenue in Riverside.

James Bennett, 25, of Flanders, was charged with DWI and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree, a felony. Bennett was arrested shortly after 5:15 a.m. on Flanders Road in Flanders.

On Monday, East Hampton resident Francisco Moctezuma, 47, was arrested on a DWI charge after being pulled over on Flanders Road in Flanders just before 5 a.m.

Police said all three were arraigned in Southampton Town Justice Court.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that all three arrests were on Monday morning.

10/17/13 1:00pm
10/17/2013 1:00 PM

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Republican Linda Kabot, left, speaks while incumbent Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, who is running on the Democratic line, listens at the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association’s Southampton Town candidate’s night Tuesday.

Both the Republican and Democratic candidates for Southampton Town Board and Suffolk County Legislature agreed Tuesday that helping the northwest portion of town – most of which shares a school district with Riverhead Town – is an important goal in their campaigns. But the two sides disagreed about how best to achieve this goal.

One key disagreement concerned the proposed formation of a Riverside sewer district, seen by some as a key to economic development in the area.

The Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association held the forum Tuesday in David Crohan Community Center in Flanders, where candidates for Southampton Town Supervisor and council spoke, along with candidates for the South Fork’s Suffolk County Legislature seat.

Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst of Sag Harbor, running for reelection on the Democratic, Independence and Working Families lines, is opposed by former Supervisor Linda Kabot of Quogue, running on the Republican and Conservative lines.

Ms. Throne-Holst defeated Ms. Kabot four years ago and then won again two years ago when Ms. Kabot ran only a write-in campaign.

Ms. Throne-Holst said her administration has done a lot for the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton areas, including establishing an economic development task force, getting the county’s sex offender trailers closed, obtaining a grant for a walking trail to the river in Riverside, having the police department join the East End Drug Task Force and issuing a request for proposals from developers interested in jump-starting economic activity in Riverside.

“Economic development in Riverside is absolutely crucial,” Ms. Kabot agreed. But she said that having done a number of studies on the area, the town should be taking action. She said the area near the former car dealership on Route 104 should be rezoned for shopping centers and the property north of the Riverwoods mobile home park should be rezoned for senior housing. The Republican Town Board candidates have included a section on Riverside in their campaign platform, Ms. Kabot said.

The two candidates also differed about future handling of the area’s sewage. Ms. Kabot said the town should hook into downtown Riverhead’s system while Ms. Throne-Holst supports a $250,000 study of the issue. The views of the county legislature candidates, incumbent Jay Schneiderman and Republican challenger Chris Nuzzi, split along the same lines.

Mr. Nuzzi said he disagrees with doing a $250,000 study on sewers in Riverside since “we already know the answer,” which would be hooking into the Riverhead system.

Mr. Schneiderman, who sponsored the bill to fund the study, has said that Riverhead Town rejected a request to tie into their sewer system, which Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter has confirmed in interviews.

All candidates supported current plans to create a walking trail from Flanders Road to the Peconic River and to build a pedestrian bridge over the river from downtown Riverhead connecting to that path. Town and county officials hope to obtain a grant for that project.

“We have very serious issues here,” Ms. Kabot said. “The northwest quadrant of the town needs attention.” At one point, she added that she’d like to see someone from the area run for town board, though Ms. Throne-Holst’s running mate, Brad Bender, is in fact from Northampton. Ms. Throne-Holst later thanked Ms. Kabot for “endorsing” him.

Ms. Kabot said that during her two years as supervisor, the town brought the Big Duck back to Flanders, got the state to repave Route 24 and renovated the Crohan Community Center.

Ms. Throne-Holst’s running mates for Town Board are Mr. Bender, a former FRNCA president and landscaping company owner who made an unsuccessful bid for Town Board in 2011, and Frank Zappone of Southampton, currently her deputy supervisor. In the past, he was a school administrator for many years and also worked for Apple and for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Republican/Conservative council candidates are Stan Glinka of Hampton Bays – president of the Hampton Bays Chamber of Commerce and the Rogers Memorial Library and a vice president at Bridgehampton National Bank – and Jeff Mansfield of Bridgehampton, a finance professional who also has degrees in business administration and law.

Some Republican candidates were also critical of the current administration for not following through on a pledge to create a night court within the town justice court, something Flanders and Riverside residents felt would help deal with quality-of-life offenses.

Ms. Throne-Holst said the attorneys in town didn’t want to go to night court, and the decision to have night court was up to the town justices, who didn’t pursue it. She said the Town Board can’t force judges to do something since they themselves are elected officials.

Correction: The print version of this story in the Oct. 17 News-Review incorrectly said the meeting was Monday.


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.