Blotter: Man convicted of felony weapon and drug possession

A Riverhead man was convicted Jan. 26 on felony weapons and drug possession charges after a jury trial. Messiah Booker, also known as Matthew Booker, 38, was found guilty in a May 2022 shooting that occurred while he had been on parole release from prison for a separate felony, according to district attorney Ray Tierney. 

On May 20, 2022, at approximately 3:50 p.m., Mr. Booker got into a verbal dispute with a teenager in the parking lot of an apartment complex in downtown Riverhead. 

As the argument escalated, Mr. Booker threatened to shoot the teen, and then briefly entered his black Jeep Compass before returning with a loaded gun in a fanny pack. Mr. Booker then began to pull the gun from the fanny pack, causing the teen to flee for his life. The victim’s family, as well as a large crowd, arrived at the apartment complex shortly thereafter. Mr. Booker went back to his Jeep, retrieved the same loaded firearm from earlier, and shot at one of the people in the crowd. The bullet ricocheted off the ground and struck another victim in the forearm. Mr. Booker then fled the scene on foot. 

Riverhead Town police officers responded and located a 9 mm shell casing. Mr. Booker’s vehicle, which was still at the scene, was impounded and a search of its contents was conducted pursuant to a search warrant. During the search, law enforcement recovered drugs including cocaine and morphine, over $1,000 in small denomination bills, four cellular phones, walkie-talkies, a bulletproof tactical vest, 9 mm ammunition, digital scales typically used to weigh narcotics and drug packaging material including glassine envelopes. 

Law enforcement tracked Mr. Booker’s movements with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service, and he was apprehended days later and placed under arrest. 

• On Jan. 23 about 6:19 p.m., a Riverhead officer on routine patrol in the area of Hamilton Avenue observed Edmond Reed of Riverhead, 54, for whom there was an active New York State parole warrant. 

After a foot pursuit, Mr. Reed was arrested and transported to Riverhead Town police headquarters. 

While in custody, Mr. Reed was interviewed by detectives as a suspect in an earlier attempted robbery that had occurred about 7:10 p.m. on Jan. 15 at International Connection on Osborn Avenue, police said. 

As a result of an extensive investigation by Riverhead detectives and the subsequent interview of Reed, he was placed under arrest for first-degree attempted robbery. 

Last Friday, at about 3:38 p.m., police were called to a home in the Riverside area of Southampton Town to check the welfare of the dogs belonging to the resident.

Upon arrival, police found two mistreated and injured dogs living in inhumane conditions, police said. 

One of the dogs had a zip tie affixed to his mouth as a makeshift “muzzle,” police said. 

The resident, Roosevelt Sykes, 54, was arrested at the scene and charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony, and failing to provide adequate shelter, a violation. 

Mr. Sykes was released on an appearance ticket to appear in Southampton Town Justice Court at a later date. 

Both dogs were taken from the scene to an area shelter for medical treatment. 

• A woman told Southampton Town police on Wednesday, Dec. 17, that someone had been making unauthorized transactions on her credit card dating back to November 2022. 

The total unauthorized charges added up to $5,174, according to police. 

The unauthorized credit card charges were for Uber trips, Uber Eats, Uber Liquor/Wine and Apple.com, according to police.

Southampton police detectives began an investigation and, on Jan. 23, 2024, arrested Allison Galaris of Coram, 51, on a charge of third-degree grand larceny. Ms. Galaris was then arraigned in Southampton Town Justice Court. 

• At about 7:43 p.m. last Thursday, Southampton Town police received a call reporting a motor vehicle accident on County Road 51, just south of Speonk Riverhead Road in Northampton. One of the vehicles involved in the accident left the scene without reporting, police said.

A short while later the driver was located, police said. 

Upon further investigation, the driver, Byron Sinchi-Zamora of Riverside, 26, was found to have been driving while intoxicated by alcohol. 

Mr. Sinchi-Zamora was arrested and transported to police headquarters for arrest processing. 

He was charged with two counts of misdemeanor DWI, two counts of leaving the scene of an accident, a violation and an additional violation of vehicle and traffic law.

• A Hampton Bays man was charged with DWI Monday at about 6:34 p.m.

Southampton police said that Manuel Vizhnaypuzhi, 36, was pulled over for driving erratically while heading east on Montauk Highway near Flanders Road in Hampton Bays.

 Mr. Vizhnaypuzhi was placed under arrest and taken to police headquarters in Hampton Bays for processing. He was charged with DWI and aggravated DWI, both misdemeanors, and several vehicle and traffic violations.

• Jan. 28t about 6:34 p.m., Southampton police arrested Carolina Galarza-Vega of Flanders, 25, after an investigation by police found that while employed by a business at 801 County Road 39 in Southampton, she stole the purse of a female customer that had been left in the store. 

Ms. Galarza-Vega was charged with fourth-degree grand larceny , a felony, and petit larceny , a misdemeanor. She was processed at Southampton Town Police headquarters and released on an appearance ticket. 

Those who are named in police reports have not been convicted of any crime or violation. The charges against them may later be reduced or withdrawn, or they may be found innocent.