Update: Teen held on bail, accused of shooting pellet gun at shopper

Christopher Collins is led out of Riverhead Town court Thursday morning. (Credit: Paul Squire)
Christopher Collins is led out of Riverhead Town court Thursday morning. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Update 11 a.m.

A Flanders teen charged with felony assault after allegedly shooting a teenage shopper in the face with a pellet gun near a Route 58 store has been held on $5,000 bail after his arraignment in town court.

Prosecutors said Mr. Collins is facing two other unrelated felony charges in upstate New York, though his defense attorney said the teen has no prior convictions and has always made his court dates.

Christopher Collins, who said he is a 19-year-old Riverhead High School student, was arrested Wednesday evening after the alleged incident occurred.

Cops were called to the Riverhead Target about 5:25 p.m. when a 19-year-old shopper suffered an apparent “puncture wound” to her face, police said. Detectives found that the wound may have been caused by a pellet and searched nearby.

In a wooded area to the east of the Target parking lot, police found two men, including Mr. Collins who was carrying a Crosman Rifle pellet gun, police said. Detectives said Mr. Collins had fired the gun at the victim, police said.

The victim was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center, where she was treated for a pellet that had become “embedded under her skin,” police said.

Mr. Collins was led into Riverhead Town court Thursday morning, dressed in a white tank top and gray sweatpants. Prosecutors said Mr. Collins has two outstanding felony charges, one for criminal possession of a loaded weapon and one for possession of stolen property.

Mr. Collins told Judge Allen Smith that one of those charges was set to be dropped to a misdemeanor. Prosecutors originally asked for $50,000 bail, a number that visibly shocked the teenager. 

“Fifty thousand?” he asked, before Judge Smith signaled for him to be quiet. The bail was eventually set at $5,000.

An order of protection for the victim against Mr. Collins was also granted.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly called the pellet gun an ‘airsoft rifle’ in the headline. 

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