A Riverhead man is in critical condition after a stabbing Monday night and Riverhead Town police have charged a 29-year-old for allegedly using a large kitchen knife in the attack.
The 36-year-old victim underwent surgery at Peconic Bay Medical Center to stabilize his injuries and remains in intensive care as of Tuesday morning, police said.
Ronald Dejesus Oscal Cruz of Calverton was arrested Monday night and charged with first-degree assault, a felony, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a misdemeanor.
A plain-clothes police officer observed a dispute between two men at about 10:45 p.m. Monday in the area of Griffing Avenue and West Main Street. The officer called for additional marked units to respond and then saw one man chasing another. The man who was being chased was bleeding. His shirt was soaked in blood, police said.
The victim crossed West Main Street and collapsed on the ground near 11 W. Main St. The man who was chasing the victim then changed directions and began to flee the area in a westbound direction. Mr. Oscal Cruz was taken into custody a short distance away without further incident and police recovered the knife. The responding patrol officers rendered first aid to the victim until members of the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps arrived.
The two men were described as “good friends,” in court papers. Mr. Oscal Cruz allegedly said he “was going to assassinate someone tonight,” and then went to the Roanoke Avenue home of the victim, according to the criminal complaint.
Mr. Oscal Cruz pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Riverhead Town Justice Court Tuesday morning before Judge Lori Hulse. The judge set bail at $100,000 cash or $200,000 bond. He is due back in court Friday and could be facing a grand jury indictment on upgraded charges.
The investigation remains ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact police at 631-727-4500.