10/30/13 2:34pm
10/30/2013 2:34 PM
CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Tanger Outlets in Riverhead.

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Tanger Outlets in Riverhead.

Tanger Outlets is hiring more private security guards to patrol the shops and parking lots after a woman was attacked in a public bathroom at the mall Tuesday afternoon, the center’s management said.

“Our first concern is always the safety of our customers and employees,” said general manager Janine Nebons.

A 67-year-old woman was inside a public restroom in Tanger 1 near the West Elm outlet store about noon when she was attacked by someone who was hiding inside another stall before the mugging, Riverhead Town police said.

Police said that as the woman tried to exit her stall, the suspect pushed her back in, putting one of his arms around her neck while trying to force her to the floor, but he ran off after a witness entered the bathroom.

The woman suffered minor injuries in the attack, police said.

She said the outlet center would take whatever additional precautions necessary to keep employees and customers safe.

“We want to have a strong security presence at our shopping [center],” she said. ”We want people to see them and know that they’re here.”

While Ms. Nebbons said the outlet would hire more guards, she declined to detail what other security measures were in place, saying that disclosing the existence of cameras or other measures would compromise the systems.

The suspect — described by police as a “young looking” black male between 5-foot-6-inches to 5-foot-8-inches in height, clean shaven and slim, wearing a dark hoodie sweatshirt — remains at large, police said.

Ms. Nebons said she and her staff were “horrified” by the attack, and wish the victim a quick recovery.

“I’ve been here since the center opened and we’ve never had an incident like this happen in 20 years,” she said.

Tuesday’s incident was not the first assault to occur at the mall in recent memory; however, one which occurred last month involved two people who knew one another.

In September, a Calverton man was arrested after he beat and stabbed his girlfriend at Tanger Outlets last month, holding her hostage and threatening to kill her during the assault, according to county prosecutors. The man forced his victim to drive to an area behind the outlets before stabbing her, authorities said.

Ms. Nebons declined to comment on that September incident since it’s an ongoing case, calling Tuesday’s attack an “isolated incident.”

Cops have asked anyone who may have information about the attack to call police at 631-727-4500.

psquire@timesreview.com

10/10/13 4:43pm
10/10/2013 4:43 PM
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Paul Thompson is led into Riverhead Town Justice court during an arraignment proceeding last month.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Paul Thompson is led into Riverhead Town Justice court during an arraignment proceeding last month.

A Calverton man accused his pregnant girlfriend of cheating on him with his brother before beating and stabbing her at Tanger Outlets last month, holding her hostage and threatening to kill her during the assault, prosecutors said at the man’s arraignment in Suffolk County criminal court Thursday afternoon.

Paul Thompson Jr., 24, was arraigned on a 10-count grand jury indictment as his family looked on and is now being held at Suffolk County jail on $100,000 cash bail.

He was charged with second-degree assault and grand larceny, both felonies, as well as misdemeanor counts including menacing, criminal obstruction of breath, petit larceny and unlawful imprisonment.

Mr. Thompson — who had been arrested eight times before the incident, including one “violent felony” — went shopping at the outlet center with his 23-year-old girlfriend the night of Sept. 28, said assistant district attorney Eric Aboulafia during the arraignment.

But as the couple was getting back into his girlfriend’s car, Mr. Thompson accused her of cheating on him with his brother, Mr. Aboulafia said.

When she denied the accusation, Mr. Thompson began to hit her in the face, prosecutors said.

“During the beating, the defendant told her he wished she wasn’t pregnant,” Mr. Aboulafia added.

Mr. Thompson then allegedly forced the victim to drive to an area behind the outlets, where he pulled a knife from the back seat of the car and “threatened to kill her on multiple occasions,” prosecutors said. He stabbed her multiple times in her leg while inside the car, Mr. Aboulafia said.

Mr. Thompson then held the knife to her throat and forced her to drive to his uncle’s house, prosecutors said. He allegedly took away her car keys, cellphone and credit card, but she was able to escape near Midway Drive, locking herself into a nearby family’s home.

The family let her call the police and the victim was rushed to Peconic Bay Medical Center, where she required surgery to repair a ruptured artery, Mr. Aboulafia said.

Mr. Thompson — who was also wanted for a violation of probation — was arrested by Riverhead Town police in Mastic the next day. In court, Mr. Thompson stood silently near the bench in a green jumpsuit as the assistant district attorney described him as a ”violent felon with a history of crime.”

Mr. Thompson’s legal aid attorney, Ed Vitale, acknowledged that Mr. Thompson was already being held on the probation violation, and asked that bail be set so Mr. Thompson could begin to accrue time served.

Judge William Condon set bail at $100,000 cash, or $200,000 bond.

As Mr. Thompson was led away by security officers, his mother, Tara, stood up in court and told him, “Love you.”

“I don’t condone what he did, but the truth will come out,” she said outside the courtroom. “He’s not the monster you see in the newspaper.”

Ms. Thompson also said she was concerned with how the victim was recovering.

“We used to talk all the time,” she said. “Now — it’s understandable.”

Other family members said Mr. Thompson had moved on from the relationship at the time of the incident and said the girlfriend who was allegedly attacked at Tanger Outlets had accosted him multiple times in the past.

Mr. Thompson is due back in court on Nov. 7.

psquire@timesreview.com

09/29/13 11:10pm
09/29/2013 11:10 PM
PAUL THOMPSON JR.

PAUL THOMPSON JR.

(UPDATE 11:10 P.M.) Riverhead Police confirmed Sunday night that Paul Thompson Jr., the man wanted for stabbing his girlfriend numerous times at Tanger Outlet Center, is in police custody. No further details were immediately available.

(UPDATE 6:30 P.M.) Riverhead police have released a wanted poster as the search continues for a man they say stabbed his girlfriend multiple times at Tanger Outlet Center Saturday night.

(ORIGINAL STORY) Riverhead police are on the hunt for a Calverton man they say stabbed his girlfriend multiple times at Tanger Outlet Center in Riverhead Saturday night.

Paul Thompson Jr., 24, of Wooded Way in the Calverton Hills community then forced the victim, whom police did not identify because she is the victim of a domestic assault, to drive him away from the scene following the assault, which occurred shortly after 8 p.m., police said. She eventually escaped from the car near Midway Drive in Riverhead, where she was able to get help at a nearby residence, and he fled on foot.

The 23-year-old victim, who lives in Shirley, was escorted by Riverhead Ambulance to Peconic Bay Medical Center, where she is being treated for her injuries, police said.

Police said Mr. Thompson, a 2007 Riverhead High School graduate with ties to the Mastic Beach area, remained at large as of 9 a.m. Anyone with information is asked to call the Riverhead Police Department at 727-4500 ext. 289.

Mr. Thompson is no stranger to the law, according to online records, having two prior motor vehicle-related arrests. He was arrested in Dec. 2012 for aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and again in Feb. 2013 for driving while intoxicated. He pleaded guilty in May and was sentenced to five months in prison and five years probation.

An order of protection was also issued against him for five years, according to the online records.

cmiller@timesreview.com

10/27/12 10:46am
10/27/2012 10:46 AM

TIM GANNON PHOTO | The Riverhead parking lot where police said a man was stabbed early Saturday.

A Riverhead man was stabbed in the back during a fight in a downtown parking lot early Saturday, according to Riverhead Town Police.

The incident occurred at about 3:20 a.m Saturday near the El Caracol Restaurant and Deli in the parking lot off Griffing Avenue.

The victim, a 44-year-old Riverhead resident, was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center.

The restaurant was not open at the time of the incident.

Additional information was not immediately available.