06/27/13 9:50pm
06/27/2013 9:50 PM

Cordell Tucker was sentenced to 7 1/3 to 22 years in prison.

A Brooklyn man who caused a fatal car accident while fleeing police after a shoplifting spree at Tanger Outlets in 2011 was sentenced to the maximum of 7 1/3 to 22 years in prison today, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said.

Cordell Tucker, 26, was convicted in May of second-degree manslaughter for the death of a 62-year-old Holbrook woman. A jury also convicted him of second-degree assault, third-degree grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and reckless endangerment.

Today was the two-year anniversary of the crash, Mr. Spota said.

Mr. Tucker, along with two friends, stole $5,000 worth of jeans from True Religion Store in Tanger before leading police on a high-speed pursuit in excess of 100 miles per hour, Mr. Spota said. In West Sayville, Mr. Tucker ran a red light and broadsided Gail Sacher’s car, killing her and critically injuring her husband, Alan.

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06/05/13 11:36am
06/05/2013 11:36 AM


The Mastic man who allegedly threatened to hurt himself and others Tuesday at Tanger Outlets contacted an acquaintance who alerted police to the man’s threats, Riverhead Town police said Wednesday.

Riverhead Detective Sgt. Joseph Loggia said John Medina, 32, voluntarily gave himself up to police when he was approached at the shopping center and told police he “knew what he was feeling was wrong.”

“He’s a veteran who has some issues,” Sgt. Loggia said. “He’s definitely struggling.”

Police were called to the Route 58 shopping complex about 12:45 p.m. and found Mr. Medina at the Tanger Outlet II food court.

Mr. Medina told police he had a machete in his backpack at the time. Mr. Medina told responding officers he wanted to hurt others and hurt himself, police said Tuesday night.

The man never took the machete out of his backpack, Sgt. Loggia said.

Mr. Medina, who works at the Levi’s outlet store in the shopping center, contacted an acquaintance and explained he was having disturbed thoughts, Sgt. Loggia siad. The acquaintance then called the police to alert them to Mr. Medina’s condition.

Mr. Medina was arrested and charged with making a terroristic threat, a Class D felony punishable by up to seven years in prison, and a misdemeanor criminal possession of a weapons charge, police said.

He was arraigned in Justice Court and is being held at the county jail.

“We are thankful that no one was hurt,” said Janine Nebons, the Riverhead outlet center’s general manager. “The incident is under police investigation. We appreciate your patience while the police investigation is underway.”

04/28/13 3:53pm
04/28/2013 3:53 PM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Tanger Outlets in Riverhead.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Tanger Outlets in Riverhead.

Four people are being held in Suffolk County jail after they were caught stealing nearly $2,000 worth of merchandise from a Tanger Outlet Center store Saturday afternoon, authorities said.

Of the four, a man from Seattle and a woman from Queens are currently being held for immigration enforcement, county jail officials said.

Riverhead Town police were called to the Gap Outlet store about 4 p.m. when a security guard held two women and one man on suspicion of trying to steal items from the store, police said. A fourth person, another man, was found waiting in a nearby Mitsubishi Galant, according to a police report.

Police arrested Lucia Gomez, 34, of Miller Place; Preisila Alverez, 34, of Queens; Carlos Moran-Flores, 24, of the Bronx; and Jorge Mauricio-Astudillo, 38, of Seattle, Wash. at the scene.

It was not immediately clear who was inside the store and who was waiting inside the car.

The four were charged with grand larceny, police said. They were held overnight at police headquarters and arraigned in Riverhead Town court Sunday morning.

Ms. Alverez, Ms. Gomez, and Mr. Moran-Flores are all being held in Suffolk County jail on $10,000 cash bail, jail officials said. Mr. Mauricio-Astudillo’s bail is set at $50,000 cash.

Both Ms. Alverez and Mr. Mauricio will be turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers for further investigation after they have answered to their current charges, jail officials said.

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01/14/13 2:58pm
01/14/2013 2:58 PM

GIANNA VOLPE FILE PHOTO | Peconic Bay Winery will now do all its non-member tastings at Empire State Cellars at the Tanger Outlet Center.

Peconic Bay Winery will be closing its Cutchogue tasting room to the general public, but the location will continue to be the site of special events and where the company’s wine will be fermented, bottled and stored, according to general manager Jim Silver.

Mr. Silver said Empire State Cellars at Tanger Outlets in Riverhead — where the company currently sells almost 800 New York wines and some liquor — will soon feature an exclusive space for Peconic Bay Winery products and will also serve as the winery’s retail and tasting room headquarters. Peconic Bay Winery owns the outlet, which it opened about a year ago.

The Cutchogue property will still serve as the location for the Peconic Bay Winery wine club and other private events, as well as food and music festivals.

“A lot of people don’t know what to make of this and some think we are closing,” Mr. Silver said. “We are absolutely not closing our tasting room. We are just changing it and re-purposing the [Cutchogue] property. The biggest crowds came out for the special events and we’re going to keep doing them.”

In a press release, Mr. Silver said the Riverhead tasting room “can accommodate dozens of interested wine tasters each day and the hours of operation are much longer than they are at the winery. We’ll reach a lot more people this way.”

He said though the company laments no longer offering open mic and other frequent events for local musicians, the sound of music will not be leaving the property for good.

Two festivals are already planned with event production company Starfish Junction which puts on such events as the North Fork Craft Beer, BBQ & Wine Festival at Martha Clara Vineyards and the Pour the Core hard cider festival held at Peconic Bay Winery in October.

“We’re planning another cider festival for Oct. 5 and I have a meeting in two weeks for a wine-related festival,” Mr. Silver said, adding that the Cutchogue Lions car show will also soon be held at the Cutchogue location.

Mr. Silver said he is currently talking with limo and other private driving companies to make Tanger a stop on the North Fork wine trail.

“On the way out after a day of touring the area, who wouldn’t feel like a little shopping,” Mr. Silver said. “Guys can come have a beer at the bar and girls can check out some of the shops. It’s going to be a fun place.”

Mr. Silver said the North Fork region accommodates about two million people annually, a number he said is growing all the time.

“Our piece of that is 40 to 50,000 and that’s a lot. I think with this move, there will be more traffic to go around to the other local vineyards and will bring loyal Peconic Bay wine drinkers to Tanger,” he said.  “It’s going to be a bit more quiet around here in Cutchogue, but we’re going to keep ourselves just as busy and I don’t think it will end up having too much of an impact.”

Mr. Silver said North Forkers who truly love the Cutchogue location should join the wine club.

“Wine club members come in all the time to pick up their shipments and hundreds of them will show up,” he said. “We’re going to have eight wine club weekends in Cutchogue, so wine club members can have the place all to themselves.”

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12/26/12 3:49pm
12/26/2012 3:49 PM

Riverhead Police are on the lookout for a man who robbed a store at the Tanger Outlet Center Wednesday morning, before tying up an employee and stealing her car.

The robbery took place at about 9 a.m. Wednesday, when a female employee was preparing to open up the Aldo Outlet shoe store in Tanger II, according to Lieutenant Rick Boden of the Riverhead Town Police Department.

The employee was by herself at the time when a masked man came up behind her, Lt. Boden said.

“He implied that he had a weapon, although none was seen,” he added. Police said the suspect placed an unknown object to the back of her head.

The robber then forced his way into the store, took the employee to where the cash was kept, and took an undetermined amount of cash, Lt. Boden said.

“He then tied her up in a storage area and bound her hands, and also took her car keys and stole her car,” he said.

The suspecy used her car, a grey 2012 Hyundai Elantra with the license plate number FRR-4165, to escape, police said.

The woman got herself untied and called police at around 9 a.m.

She was not injured.

She also called her father after she got unbound and he raced toward the scene and lost control of his car on West Main Street, crashing into a telephone poll and then another car, Lt. Boden said. No one was injured, but the street was closed for a short time while LIPA repaired the pole.

Because the man was wearing a mask that covered most of his face, except for eye and mouth holes, it’s difficult to give a description of the suspect, Lt. Boden said.

Police are asking anyone with information about the case to call 727-4500.

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08/03/12 4:36pm
08/03/2012 4:36 PM

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Firefighters rushed to the scene at Tanger Outlets after getting a report of a structure fire. The call was determined to be a false alarm.

A Tanger Outlet store was briefly evacuated Friday afternoon after employees smelled smoke in the building, fire officials said. Riverhead firefighters later determined it was a false alarm.

The incident began about 3:30 p.m., when the Riverhead Fire Department received a call of a structure fire at the Claire’s store in Tanger 2. Firefighters were told there was a “strong smell of smoke,” second assistant chief Kevin Brooks said at the scene. The building was evacuated as a precaution while firefighters inspected the building. Several fire engines were called to the scene to assist.

Firefighters determined the report of a fire was “unfounded,” Mr. Brooks said and by 4:15 p.m. the volunteers had left the scene and the store reopened.

11/04/11 7:00pm
11/04/2011 7:00 PM

SAMANTHA BRIX PHOTO | Empire State Cellars tasting bar server Lucinda Bonilla serves a tasting glass of 2010 Vignoles from Hunt Country Vineyards to Lenn Thompson, executive editor of the popular wine blog, New York Cork Report.

After months of pouring, swirling and spitting wines from across the state to select bottles they consider the best, Peconic Bay Winery manager Jim Silver and his staff opened Empire State Cellars at Tanger Outlet in Riverhead on Friday.

The store is stocked with 400 different wines and spirits from New York vineyards, and Mr. Silver hopes to grow that number to 600.

“We really tasted everything we could get our hands on and selected what we thought were the best wines in the state,” he said.

Check out our Wine Press blog to read the complete story

10/01/11 11:00am
10/01/2011 11:00 AM

SAMANTHA BRIX PHOTO | Peconic Bay Winery general manager James Silver gets ready to move bottles of the vineyard's wine into Empire State Cellars, a new wine merchant store and tasting room opening in Tanger One in Riverhead later this month.

Peconic Bay Winery’s general manager James Silver knows that most people who come from afar to shop at Tanger Outlets in Riverhead wouldn’t make the trek for his vineyard’s wine alone.

But many tourist shoppers would make the schlep, he supposes, to choose bottles of wine from the majority of vineyards from around the state.

That’s why he and vineyard officials decided to open Empire State Cellars, a 3,000-square-foot wine merchant store and tasting room in Tanger One, filled only with bottles made in the state. The store is slated to open Oct. 21.

“The interest in New York wine has never been greater,” Mr. Silver said, explaining the decision to open up shop in another place. “The interest in local products has never been greater.”

Peconic Bay Winery is one of the only North Fork vineyards to open a second location, a move in accordance with a New York State agricultural law allowing wineries to have up to five satellite locations. Pindar Vineyards opened a second tasting room and retail store in Port Jefferson called Pindar Wine Shop about 25 years ago.

Of the approximately 300 wineries throughout the state, 200 of them will sell their wines in Empire State Cellars. About 15,000 bottles of wine, all made from grapes grown on New York soil, will soon line the shelves of the store.

“It’s a way of uniting New York’s wine region in a way that’s never really been done before,” Mr. Silver said.

Tastings will be held daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Read more in the Oct. 6 edition of the News-Review

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