Man alleged to have strangled woman held on $70K bail


A Riverhead man who was arrested Thursday morning for allegedly breaking into a locked bedroom and assaulting and attempting to suffocate a woman was arraigned Friday morning at Riverhead Justice Court and is due back in court early next week.

Nelson Chamale-Suruy, 32, appeared before Riverhead Town Justice Richard Ehlers, who set Mr. Chamale-Suruy’s bail at $50,000 for one felony charge and at $10,000 each for two misdemeanor charges.

Mr. Chamale-Suruy was arrested and charged with first-degree burglary, a felony, and third-degree assault and criminal obstruction of breathing or blood, both misdemeanors.

According to police, Mr. Chamale-Suruy entered the bedroom at 778 Gregory Place during the early hours of Thursday morning. Police were called about 6:45 a.m.

Riverhead police said that Mr. Chamale-Suruy – one of several tenants in the home – then punched the victim several times in the face and chest and choked her before putting a pillow over her face, attempting to obstruct her breathing.

He reportedly fled the scene before police arrived while the victim was transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center. Mr. Chamale-Suruy was approached by the victim’s family later in the day, police said, at which point they notified police.

According to police, Mr. Chamale-Suruy currently has an ‘immigration detainer’ on him by Homeland Security’s Immigrations Customs Enforcement unit.

In 2007, Mr. Ehlers said, Mr. Chamale-Suruy was arrested five different times for driving without a license. He failed to appear in court to answer any of those charges, he said.

Town tax rolls show that the property where the incident occurred is a single-family unit, owned by Westhampton Beach resident Peter Price.

With Rachel Young