Alleged ‘Hamburglar’ detained by ICE authorities


A Flanders man accused of demanding hamburgers and cash from a Riverside fast food restaurant and threatening to shoot an employee earlier this week is now being held by federal immigration authorities.

Juan Mendez-DePaz, 33, appeared in Southampton Town Justic Court Friday morning in a dark green jumpsuit, where his legal aid attorney said Mr. Mendez-DePaz was being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials following his arrest on weapons and robbery charges.

State police say Mr. Mendez-DePaz walked up to the drive-through window at the McDonald’s on Flanders Road about 12:05 a.m. wearing a cowboy hat and a black vest.

Mr. Mendez-DePaz told an employee there that he had two guns in his vest and threatened to open fire unless he was given “some hamburgers and money”, police said. The worker closed the window and called 911, and “within minutes” state troopers and Southampton Town police found Mr. Mendez-DePaz in the parking lot, according to a state police statement.

The Flanders man allegedly showed police a “large knife” on his hip, and was apprehended after fighting with police, state police said. The man was apprehended a few minutes later after a “brief struggle” with police, according to a police statement.

During Mr. Mendez-DePaz’s court appearance his attorney, Michael Dipresso, said he had spoken with the assistant district attorney handling the case and downplayed the severity of the allegations.

“The situation is actually not as severe as the charges suggest,” he told Southampton Town judge Deborah Kooperstein.

Mr. Dipresso declined to comment about his client’s case to a reporter.

He has been charged with misdemeanor criminal possession of a weapon and felony robbery. His bail — set at $50,000, court officials said — was continued.

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