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Farm owner drove tractor into tent to ‘intimidate’ partygoers who declined to leave at midnight

A dispute over a teenage girl’s party lead to one man driving a tractor into a tent early Sunday morning, according to Riverhead Town police.

The incident took place just after midnight Sunday as police received a report of a disturbance involving a tractor in a large crowd on Wells Farm at 5048 Sound Ave., officials said. 

Officers on the scene found Todd Wells, 60, the owner of the property, along with “what appeared to be the remnants of a large party,” according to police.

According to court records, a Quinceañera party hosting about 80 to 100 guests was being held on the property. A Quinceañera party is a celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday and has its roots in Latin American culture.

At some point, Mr. Wells had asked the group to leave, and they would not, so he drove a John Deere 8-wheel tractor to the tent, police said. 

Mr. Wells leased the land to the group holding the party. He could not be reached for comment.

Todd Wells’ son, Eric, said that his father told the group they were past their curfew, and he got angry when they didn’t leave. Eric Wells said his father wanted the group to shut the party down at midnight. 

“It was understood by them beforehand,” he said. 

Around 12:20 am., Todd Wells asked them to shut the music and leave and they refused, Eric said. 

“And they got unruly with him,” he said. “He brought out the tractor to try and intimidate them. He got in the tractor and nudged into the tent, then they started throwing things at the tractor and broke the window on the tractor.”

Mr. Wells is due back in Riverhead Town Justice Court on Wednesday. He’s facing a felony charge of first-degree reckless endangerment, which punishable by up to seven years in jail. 

Police said there were no reported injuries.