11/12/14 9:17am
11/12/2014 9:17 AM
(Credit: Google Maps)

(Credit: Google Maps)

Two men are being held on bail after their arraignment Wednesday on a slew of charges — including felony robbery and assault — related to a Tuesday night hold-up at a Hampton Bays home, according to Southampton Town court documents.

The two men, 22-year-old Jairo Arteaga of Riverside and 21-year-old Jimi Valdez-Banegas of Hampton Bays, are accused of physically attacking a man in the home Mr. Valdez-Banegas lives in, according to the court filings.

About 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, Mr. Arteaga attacked the 29-year-old victim — whose identity is being withheld — inside the home on Penny Lane, striking him in the shoulder with a baseball bat and causing “substantial pain” and a “large” bruise, the court filings show.

At the same time, Mr. Valdez-Banegas held a knife up to the throat and head of the victim while threatening to kill him, according to the court documents. The two men stole the victim’s wallet, keys, and $600 in “assorted U.S. currency,” according to the report.

The victim ran from the house and flagged down someone who then called police, said Southampton Sgt. John Boden. Officers on patrol got to the house soon after and caught the two men, he said.

Sgt. Boden declined to comment on why the victim was targeted inside the house, or if he had any relationship with the attackers.

Both men were charged with felony robbery, assault and unlawful imprisonment, as well as misdemeanors for weapons possession and menacing.

Mr. Arteaga and Mr. Valdez-Banegas were arraigned in Southampton Town Justice Court and held on $755,000 and $505,000 bail, respectively, a court clerk said.

Both men are due back in court on Monday.

Editors note: Police originally said Mr. Arteaga lived in Riverhead in a news release. Court paperwork attached to the charges filed against him lists Mr. Arteaga’s address as being in Riverside. The story has been altered to clarify his place of residence.

psquire@timesreview.com

10/20/14 8:46am
10/20/2014 8:46 AM

An Aquebogue gas station was robbed at gunpoint last night, according to Riverhead Police.

Police said a clerk reported that a man — only described as tall — wearing a ski mask and black hooded sweatshirt entered Empire Gas Station on Main Road just after 10 p.m. and forcibly removed cash from him. The clerk said the man cut him across the face with a razor blade during the robbery, and then proceeded to flee on foot.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call Riverhead Police at 727-4500, ext. 633.

07/08/14 8:00am
07/08/2014 8:00 AM

RiverheadPD HQ - Summer - 500

Update: Police have arrested the second suspect in an alleged robbery that happened outside the Riverhead DMV early Monday.

Bobby Riddick, 46, turned himself into police after learning he was a wanted man, authorities said.

He was charged with second-degree robbery and held for arraignment.

Original story: A Riverhead man who recently pleaded guilty after he was caught stealing candy from a Mattituck home with a weapon was arrested again early Monday — this time, according to police, for mugging a man near the DMV and taking $300 from him.

(more…)

05/29/14 5:22pm
05/29/2014 5:22 PM
Surveillance footage released by police of

Surveillance footage released of the robbery suspect prior to Robert Santoro’s arrest. (Credit: Riverhead Town police)

Just over two months after pleading not guilty to robbing the Capital One bank in downtown Riverhead, Robert Santoro changed his plea to guilty on Wednesday to charges of third-degree robbery and petty larceny.

Mr. Santoro robbed the East Main Street bank on March 26, handing the teller a note “indicating that he had a gun,” assistant district attorney James O’Rourke said at the 46-year-old’s arraignment.

The note demanded “100s, 50s, 20s, and 10s” and said he had a gun, but that he didn’t want to use it because he didn’t want to hurt anyone, according to court documents.

Mr. Santoro fled the scene on foot after the robbery, police said at the time, and was later caught at the Budget Host Inn in Riverside with cash in his car. After his arraignment, he was held on $300,000 cash bail.

He is due to be sentenced on June 27.

The top charge for third-degree robbery is 1 to 15 years, according to state penal code regulations.

Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that Mr. Santoro had pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery.

03/07/14 4:14pm
03/07/2014 4:14 PM
Monwell Wright, in a mugshot taken in January. (Credit: Riverhead Town police)

Monwell Wright, in a mugshot taken in January. (Credit: Riverhead Town police)

The 20-year-old homeless man arrested for beating someone with a rock during an armed robbery attempt in Polish Town in January has pleaded guilty to the three felony charges against him and is expected to be sentenced to six months in jail, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

Monwell Wright admitted to two counts of attempted armed robbery and one count of assault related to the incident on Jan. 24 in Judge William Condon’s court Thursday morning, according to online court records. A misdemeanor assault charge was covered as part of Mr. Wright’s plea, the records show.

Judge Condon will likely sentence Mr. Wright to six months in Suffolk County jail with an additional five years probation, said DA spokesman Robert Clifford. The DA’s office will recommended a higher sentence of two years imprisonment plus two more years of post release supervision, he said.

Mr. Wright remains held on $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond.

During Mr. Wright’s arraignment last month, Assistant District Attorney Michelle Chiuchiolo said Mr. Wright and a girlfriend attacked the victim while the man was walking on Sweezy Avenue on his way to take the train to work about 6:15 a.m.

After knocking in his victim to the ground with a rock, Mr. Wright continued to beat the victim, demanding cash, until a vehicle drove by. Police said Mr. Wright and the woman fled without any of the victim’s money.

Prosecutors said the victim needed several stitches to close up a wound on his face and identified Mr. Wright as his attacker. The 20-year-old was arrested by police one day after the attempted robbery.

While prosecutors at his arraignment said Mr. Wright may have played a role in a second robbery about the same time, he has not been charged with any additional crimes.

Police have not reported arrests of either Mr. Wright’s alleged girlfriend or the robbers in the second assault.

Mr. Wright is scheduled to be sentenced on April 11, according to online records.

psquire@timesreview.com

02/06/14 4:49pm
02/06/2014 4:49 PM
HOWARD FEREBEE MUG SHOT

HOWARD FEREBEE MUG SHOT

“No one was more surprised in that courtroom than me.”

Not typical words coming from a defense attorney, moments after one of his client’s cases ended.

Just before potential jurors were set to enter the courtroom, a Riverhead taxi driver — 29-year-old Howard Ferebee Jr. — accused of being the getaway man in a Horton Avenue burglary last year, pleaded guilty to a lower charge Thursday afternoon in a bizarre court appearance that lasted nearly 20 minutes as the defendant peppered the judge and his attorney with questions.

(more…)