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06/27/13 9:50pm
06/27/2013 9:50 PM

Cordell Tucker was sentenced to 7 1/3 to 22 years in prison.

A Brooklyn man who caused a fatal car accident while fleeing police after a shoplifting spree at Tanger Outlets in 2011 was sentenced to the maximum of 7 1/3 to 22 years in prison today, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said.

Cordell Tucker, 26, was convicted in May of second-degree manslaughter for the death of a 62-year-old Holbrook woman. A jury also convicted him of second-degree assault, third-degree grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and reckless endangerment.

Today was the two-year anniversary of the crash, Mr. Spota said.

Mr. Tucker, along with two friends, stole $5,000 worth of jeans from True Religion Store in Tanger before leading police on a high-speed pursuit in excess of 100 miles per hour, Mr. Spota said. In West Sayville, Mr. Tucker ran a red light and broadsided Gail Sacher’s car, killing her and critically injuring her husband, Alan.

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11/09/12 11:08am
11/09/2012 11:08 AM

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | The scene of Friday morning’s accident that claimed the life of one person in Calverton.

Police have identified the victim of a fatal two-car crash that claimed his life and injured two other people at the intersection of Middle Country Road and Route 25A in Calverton Friday morning.

Joseph Amodemo Jr., 66, of Wading River was killed when a gray 2011 Honda Accord he was driving eastbound on Route 25A when it hit a dark green 1995 GMC Yukon traveling westbound on Middle Country Road, police said.

Mr. Amodemo was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. His son-in-law, Scott Paskiewicz, said on Saturday that Mr. Amodemo was a retired 6th grade teacher in Southampton who was  “a kind, kind man — no enemies — that’s all you need to know about him.”

The driver of the Yukon, 20-year-old Meghan Campbell of Shoreham, and her passenger, Chris Zullo, 25, of Riverhead, were also injured in the crash, police said.

Mr. Zullo was airlifted to Stony Brook University Medical Center with “serious” injuries to his head, police said.

Ms. Campbell, a 2010 graduate of Shoreham-Wading River High School, was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center for treatment of non life-threatening injuries.

Riverhead ambulance volunteers, a Wading River Fire Department heavy rescue team and Riverhead police all responded to the scene.

Riverhead police Lt. Robert Peeker said police interviewed a few witnesses who saw the crash but had not yet determined fault. There were no initial indications of drugs or alcohol involved in the crash, he said.

Middle Country Road was closed in both directions as Riverhead police investigated, but was reopened by 1 p.m. Anyone with information about the crash are asked to call Riverhead police at 631-727-4500, ext. 332.

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09/29/12 9:12am
09/29/2012 9:12 AM

A 46-year-old Riverhead man died following injuries suffered in a two-car motor vehicle accident on Sound Avenue Saturday morning, according to Riverhead Town Police.

At about 12:30 a.m., a 2006 Mazda sedan, which had been traveling eastbound was struck by a 2005 Kia Suburban SUV traveling west on Sound Avenue in Riverhead just east of the intersection with Horton Avenue, according to police.

Witnesses said that the Mazda appeared to have lost control going around a curve in the road and crossed into the westbound lane going sideways, directly into the path of the Kia.

The driver of the Mazda, John Scorzelli Jr., 46, of Riverhead, was treated at the scene by members of the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance and transported  to Peconic Bay Medical Center.

But police said he suffered extensive injuries in the accident and was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at the hospital.

The operator of the Kia, Lia Fallon, 43, of Port Jefferson, was treated at the scene for minor injuries and transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center for treatment, police said.

Sound Avenue was closed to traffic between Horton Avenue and Roanoke Avenue was closed to traffic while the accident was being investigated.

There were no charges issued as a result of the accident, according to police.

Mr. Scorzelli was a physician’s assistant at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital and lived on Park Drive. His wife, Maria, also is a physician’s assistant, at Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson.

Ms. Fallon is the executive chef and owner of Amarelle across from the Duck Ponds in Wading River and Bistro 72 at the Hotel Indigo in Riverhead.

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08/24/12 2:00pm
08/24/2012 2:00 PM

A Southold police officer suffered a deep cut to his knee requiring treatment at a local hospital when attempting to arrest a Peconic man in connection with an offense that took place in Riverhead earlier in the day, police reported.

The officer, Brian McNamara, was assisting the Riverhead Police in arresting Alfredo Chitay, 36, regarding a domestic incident when Mr. Chitay tried to flee, police said. Officer McNamara’s knee was lacerated as he and other offices tried to subdue Mr. Chitay, according to reports.

The officer was taken to Eastern Long Island Hospital, where he was treated and released.

Mr. Chitay was taken into custody by Riverhead Police and charged with two counts of criminal contempt, one count of criminal trespass and one count of second-degree harassment. He is to be arraigned in Riverhead Justice Court later today.

Police said that at a later time Mr. Chitay will appear in Southold Justice Court to answer charges of second-degree assault and resisting arrest relating to Officer McNamara’s injuries.

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05/17/12 10:25am
05/17/2012 10:25 AM

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Guillermo Alfonso Alvarado-Ajcuc being led by Riverhead police into Town Justice Court Thursday morning for an arraignment.

A 21-year-old Riverside man arrested Wednesday for killing Mirian Yohana Garcia Mancilla of Aquebogue allegedly strangled the woman as he raped her, prosecutors charged in Town Justice Court Thursday.

“During the rape, he strangled her with his belt,” assistant district attorney Glenn Kurtzrock said of the suspect, Guillermo Alfonso Alvarado-Ajcuc.

Ms. Garcia’s body was discovered May 7 in a wooded area behind the Riverhead DMV on Route 58.

FAMILY COURTESY PHOTO | Yohana Garcia of Aquebogue was found dead May 7.

Mr. Alvarado-Ajcuc pleaded not guilty Thursday to one count of second-degree murder before Town Justice Allen Smith.

Wearing a brown T-shirt with an image of a robot, a diminutive Mr. Alvarado-Ajcuc — described as a Guatemalan immigrant and non-U.S. citizen — spoke with his head down and through a Spanish-speaking translator during the arraignment.

He said he’s lived in the U.S. for the past four years and currently lives with his father. He doesn’t have a Green Card, he said, and he didn’t know his street address. He lives on Pine Street in Riverside, according to court documents.

The criminal complaint states that at about 2 a.m. on May 6, Mr. Alvarado-Ajcuc “removed [Ms. Garcia’s] pants” and “committed or attempted to commit” first-degree rape, criminal sexual act in the first degree and aggravated sexual abuse, as well as robbery, burglary, kidnapping, arson, and first or second degree escape.

It also states: “As the victim fought and resisted, the defendant removed his belt and wrapped it around her neck and strangled her” until she died.

Mr. Alvarado-Ajuc gave detectives a full confession, according to Mr. Kurtzrock.

He was held without bail and is due back in court next Tuesday, when his case will likely be transferred to Suffolk County Criminal Court.

“We will consider all possible charges when we present the case to the grand jury,” Mr. Kurtzrock said outside the courtroom.

Mr. Alvarado-Ajuc’s attorney, Eileen Powers of Riverhead, did not request bail for her client because, she said, she was aware Justice Court could not grant bail for a second-degree murder charge.

A woman who answered the door at Mr. Alvarado-Ajuc’s home Thursday indicated to a reporter that she did not speak English and was unable to comment.

Ms. Garcia, 29, was last seen at the Sabor Latino bar and restaurant, which is in the same Peconic Plaza shopping center as the DMV, Suffolk police detectives had said.

Originally of Guatemala, Ms. Garcia previously lived on Bell Avenue in Flanders, the address originally provided by police because the ID found on her body had not been updated.

Eswin Adolfo Velasquez, a close friend of the victim’s family, said Thursday that he saw Mr. Alvarado-Ajcuc’s mug shot online but did not recognize the man.

He did not believe the suspect and Ms. Garcia were friends.

“I’m happy the police is working fast,” Mr. Velasquez said, adding that the devastated family would be pleased to learn there was an arrest.

A funeral for Ms. Garcia was held Saturday at the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Riverhead.

“She was a wonderful person and a lot of people loved her,” Ms. Garcia’s sister, Zully Garcia Mancilla, said at the services.

Ms. Garcia, who worked cleaning and detailing boats at Larry’s Lighthouse Marina in Aquebogue, was a black belt in karate, a popular DJ who spun records at local parties and an avid soccer player who played goalie for a women’s team on the North Fork.

The team, Union Latina, held a moment of silence at its game Sunday in Mattituck, where players also wore black ribbons in remembrance of Yohana, as she was known.

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SUFFOLK COUNTY POLICE | Guillermo Alfonso Alvarado-Ajcuc, 21, of Riverhead was charged with murder Wednesday for the death of Mirian Yohana Garcia Mancilla.

05/03/12 8:30am
05/03/2012 8:30 AM

Patricia Womack, 52, of Aquebogue was arrested and charged with second-degree harassment after she jumped on a woman during a dispute and began to punch her in the face last Thursday evening, police said.

Ms. Womack began arguing with the alleged victim after Ms. Womack found she had been locked out of her apartment and saw her clothes in a pile outside the house on Trout Brook Lane in Aquebogue, according to a police report.

The verbal dispute then turned physical, with Ms. Womack eventually attacking the other woman, police said.

Ms. Womack said the victim punched her in the chest and that she was defending herself. No other arrests were made.

Ms. Womack was processed and released on an appearance ticket.

04/29/12 1:29pm
04/29/2012 1:29 PM

Three Riverhead men were injured during a late-night brawl outside the back of the Sabor Latino Restaurant on Old Country Road, Riverhead Police said.

Dario Jerson-Hilorio reported being hit with a folding chair. Jaime Juarez-Alverado said he was hit in the head with an unknown object and Milton Reyes said he was punched in the face, according to police. The men did not know the attackers. The fight occurred just after 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

All three were taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center. Mr. Juarez-Alverado was transferred to Stony Brook Medical Center for further evaluation on his head injury.

Mr. Hilorio and Mr. Reyes were treated for facial contusions and lacerations and released. No arrests were made.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact them at (631) 727-4500.

04/29/12 11:01am

A 39-year-old Manorville man was charged with DWI and leaving the scene of an accident after a Saturday night crash in Calverton forced a woman to be airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital with serious injuries, Riverhead Police said.

Michael Murphy allegedly fled the scene on foot after a head-on crash on Sound Avenue and Twomey Avenue around 9:30 p.m. The Riverhead Police K9 Unit responded along with New York State Police and Mr. Murphy was found a short time later, police said.

Liliana Rios of Baiting Hollow suffered serious injuries to her chest, police said. Ms. Rios, 25, was the driver of the other vehicle. She was listed in fair condition Sunday, according to a hospital spokesman. One other passenger suffered less serious injuries. Nikolin Lejhia, 26, of Manhattan was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center. Another passenger was unharmed.

Police ask anyone with information to contact the Riverhead Police Detective Division at 727-4500 (332).