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05/06/14 9:06pm
05/06/2014 9:06 PM

Riverhead police say a 42-year-old man who was drugged up and driving an ATV led officers on a brief chase in Jamesport Tuesday morning before crashing and then lunging for an officer’s radio and handgun while resisting arrest.

Police were called to the area of Washington Avenue around 11:45 a.m. for a reports of “an intoxicated male operating a quad on the roadway” according to a press release. (more…)

08/20/13 2:30pm
08/20/2013 2:30 PM

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Riverhead Police Department’s newest ATV was unveiled today. On hand were: (from left) Town Councilman John Dunleavy, DA Thomas Spota, Police Chief David Hegermiller, PBA President Dixon Palmer, Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, Police Officer John Morris, Councilman George Gabrielsen, PBA Vice President Christopher Parkin, Councilman Jim Wooten and Supervisor Sean Walter.

The Riverhead Police Department’s latest addition started at a fundraiser for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota two years ago.

Riverhead police officer Charles Cichanowicz was in charge of patrolling Iron Pier Beach, but was frustrated by having to drive back to police headquarters to pick up the department’s all-terrain vehicle when it was needed. He pitched an idea to Mr. Spota: use money seized from criminals in police raids to help the police department buy new ATVs and sheds to store them.

This summer, the county delivered. Riverhead police have been using the new ATV — worth about $6,000 — since June and it has already had a noticeable impact on how well the police can patrol the beaches and assist those in need, said Supervisor Sean Walter.

“We do beach patrols during the summertime so we’re really happy the DA provided us the money for the two sheds,” Mr. Walter said in an interview last week. “It’s very helpful because it increases the protection on the beach. We used to get a lot of complaints.”

Police officer and Police Benevolent Association vice president Christopher Parkin said the shed and new ATV allows police officers to respond to emergencies on the beach faster. It used to take police about 20 minutes to return to base, pick up the ATVs using a trailer and return to the scene on the beach, town officials said. Now, police can respond in minutes.

“These are live-saving instruments,” Mr. Parkin said. “That time can be the difference between life and death.”

The two new sheds purchased using the asset forfeiture funds have been installed at Wading River and Iron Pier beaches.

Mr. Spota, who was at Iron Pier beach Tuesday with the Town Board and police officials, said he would expedite a request to get Riverhead police a second, new ATV. The police plan to then donate one of their older vehicles to the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps.

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03/29/13 4:30pm
03/29/2013 4:30 PM
CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Medical workers load a dirt bike crash victim into a Medevac helicopter Thursday afternoon.

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Medical workers load a dirt bike crash victim into a Medevac helicopter Thursday afternoon off Elton Road in Riverhead.

A man was airlifted to an area hospital Thursday afternoon after crashing a dirt bike in woods off East Main Street in Riverhead, officials said.

The man, identified by police as James Bennett of Riverhead, crashed into a tree about 5:10 p.m. in a wooded area just west of the Millbrook Gables neighborhood, south of Route 58, said Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance chief Joseph Oliver.

A Suffolk County Police Department helicopter landed in the parking lot of True Tech Inc., adjacent to the woods, and Mr. Bennett was then transported to Stony Brook University Medical Center.

Mr. Oliver said the victim and other young men were driving vehicles in the woods at the time of the crash. No other injuries were reported.

“As of [Thursday] night he was stable,” Riverhead police Detective David Freeborn said of the victim Friday.

He added that the other people involved, believed to be at least five, fled the area after the crash, leaving Mr. Bennett there, injured.

The bike was gone as well when police arrived.

It’s not known who removed it.

“From what we can tell, they got on the bike and took off,” Det. Freeborn said. “A good Samaritan called 911; the person saw him fly off the bike.”

The decision was made to transport the man via helicopter because of the nature of his head injuries, officials said.

Reached Friday, Ms. Bennett’s mother asked only that people keep her son in their prayers.

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