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…)

02/06/14 3:07pm
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 7:42am
01/25/2014 7:42 AM
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

11/19/13 7:14am
11/19/2013 7:14 AM
COURTESY SCPD

COURTESY SCPD

Suffolk County and Riverhead Police released visual images from an armed robbery which occurred on Route 58 in mid-September, asking the public’s help in finding the two men they say held up the store.

Suffolk County Crime Stoppers are also offering a reward for information that leads to an arrest in the case, giving up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest.

According to police, two men entered the Hess station at the corner of Ostrander Avenue and Route 58 about 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 13, a Friday. The duo reportedly robbed an employee at gunpoint, fleeing the convenience store with $200 in cash and $100 in Newport cigarettes.

No injuries were reported at the time of the arrest, police told the News-Review in September.

The Route 58 Hess wasn’t just the only Hess in the area to fall victim to an armed robbery recently, but also one of over a half dozen gas stations targeted throughout Suffolk County by an alleged serial armed robber. At the end of October, a Hess on Edwards Avenue in Calverton was robbed; police arrested Manorville resident Paul Tromblee on Nov. 10 in relation to the robberies. He remains held on bail.

Anyone with information about the arrest is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

COURTESY SCPD

COURTESY SCPD

11/05/13 1:52pm
11/05/2013 1:52 PM
COURTESY SCPD | Police say this man robbed a Calverton gas station.

COURTESY SCPD | Police say this man robbed a Calverton gas station.

Suffolk County Police said on Tuesday that they are investigating a recent gas station robbery in Calverton as one which was carried out as part of a larger pattern, and are asking for the public’s help in tracking down the man they say is responsible for all of them.

The Hess gas station on Edwards Avenue – barely in the jurisdiction of the SCPD – was robbed last Wednesday night, after a clerk said that a man pulled a handgun on him, demanding cash from the register about 7:45 p.m.

Police said that over the past two weeks, similar robberies have occurred at seven different establishments, at gas stations in Eastport, Mastic, North Babylon, St. James, Dix Hills and Bohemia, as well as Jamba Juice in Stony Brook. No one was injured during any of the robberies.

The suspect is described as a white male, about 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-2 with a tall to medium build. Police said he usually wears a dark-colored or gray hooded sweatshirt.

According to police, the man has frequently approached the clerk to purchase an item and when the cash register opened, pulled a gun and demanded cash.

Mohammed Kahn, the clerk at the Calverton Hess, told the News-Review last week that the robber walked straight up to the register and demanded cash, first giving him the impression that the act was a trick.

“I was looking to him like he was joking,” Mr. Kahn said at the time.

Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to call Suffolk County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. Any information that leads to an arrest could result in a reward of up to $5,000.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | This Hess station on Edwards Avenue was robbed at gunpoint Wednesday night, authorities said. The robber remains at large.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | The Hess station on Edwards Avenue that was robbed at gunpoint Wednesday night, police said. The robber remains at large.