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03/30/13 12:33pm
03/30/2013 12:33 PM

JOE WERKMEISTER PHOTO  |  The Dunkin’ Donuts in Shirley that three men from Riverhead allegedly robbed March 20.

Four Riverhead men have been arrested in relation to armed robberies in Mastic and Shirley in recent weeks, Suffolk County police said.

One of the men is only being charged in one of the two incidents, Suffolk County police said.

Robert Singleton, 25, Justin Braunskill, 25 and Tyrone Booker, 21, all of Riverhead, are facing first-degree armed robbery charges for a 10 p.m. holdup at a Dunkin’ Donuts on William Floyd Bypass in Shirley on Feb. 24, police said.

Those three men are also facing charges in another armed robbery that happened March 20 in Mastic, police said.

That armed robbery occurred at a Valero gas station on Montauk Highway, and all three men, along with a fourth man, identified by police as Trayrone Booker, 19, of Riverhead, are facing second-degree robbery charges for that incident, police said.

All four suspects were arrested on Montgomery Avenue in Mastic on the night of the second robbery, police said.

In the first incident, at Dunkin’ Donuts, one of suspects produced a handgun, demanded money and the group fled the area, police said.

In the second incident at the Valero, the suspects also displayed a handgun and demanded money and cigarettes, police said.

All four men were arraigned in Suffolk County District court on different dates after March 20, according to online documents.

Workers at both locations declined to comment.

It also was not clear why the three suspects were charged with first-degree robbery — a class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison and a five-year mandatory minimum for someone with no criminal record — in the first alleged incident, and second-degree robbery in the second case.

Second-degree robbery, a class C felony according to NYS Penal Law, carries a 15-year maximum prison sentence if convicted.

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12/19/12 8:00am
12/19/2012 8:00 AM

Two East End teenagers were arrested last week after they allegedly attacked a physical education teacher at a Wading River school, Riverhead Town police said.

The teacher at the Little Flower Children’s Services, a school for troubled youths on North Wading River Road, said he told students they could not eat or drink in the gym about 1:30 p.m. last Wednesday, police said. Then two teenagers then opened a packet of Pop Tarts.

When asked by the teacher to leave the class, Christian Bonas, 17, of Shirley punched the teacher in the face, police said, and the teacher tackled the teen to the ground to get him to stop. While the two struggled, another teenager, Justus Davender, 17, of Riverhead allegedly grabbed the teacher’s legs and pushed him.

The teacher told police he believed Mr. Davender was trying to flip the teacher over to let Mr. Bonas get on top of him.

The two students were arrested and charged with second-degree harassment, officials said.

They were taken to police headquarters, processed and released on an appearance ticket with a later court date.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Justus Davender was the teenager to punch the teacher in the face. Mr. Davender had held the teacher’s legs, while Mr. Bonas was the student who initially punched the teacher. 

11/09/12 4:30pm
11/09/2012 4:30 PM
Superstorm Sandy, Riverhead Fire Department Mastic Shirley, Long Island

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | RFD hurricane relief donations organizer Amanda Starks (right) gets help from volunteers (from left) Jared Polak, 12, and Girls Scouts Troop 1159 members Renee Mott, Nicole Levasseur and Kristal Dewey at Riverhead fire headquarters Friday evening.

Riverhead firefighters are leading relief efforts in Mastic and Shirley, areas that were hit hard by superstorm Sandy.

Residents of the two South Shore hamlets have been somewhat neglected, as most relief efforts are focusing on Long Beach, Queens and elsewhere, fire officials said.

Donations being collected at Riverhead fire headquarters on Roanoke Avenue were mostly trickling in from local residents, said fire district manager Frank Darrow, but he has received calls from Connecticut, upstate New York and even California from groups wanting to make large donations.

Amanda Starks, wife of volunteer Charlie Starks, has been organizing the relief efforts for RFD.

She’s been arriving at the Riverhead firehouse each evening at 6 p.m. with a crew of 10 to 15 volunteers to sort through donations.

“Tonight we are supposed to have the Girls Scouts and [Riverhead High School] cheerleaders helping out,” she said Friday. “I’m very happy with the outcome, the support of folks, and Jamesport Fire Department using RFD as a hub for donations. It is really good to see that so much good can come out of this event when you see a mass amount of people who want to help it overshadows the negativity.”

Mr. Darrow said he’s also received many calls from LIPA workers, asking if Riverhead firefighters could put up out-of-town utility workers in the Roanoke Avenue firehouse. Some workers can’t find hotel rooms to stay in, and many have been sleeping in their trucks or tents.

The RFD has rooms on the second floor with cots and blankets set up. He said that they may get as many as 30 workers staying there Friday night.

Riverhead firefighter Scott Robertson picked up donations at the firehouse and Our Lady of the Shrine in Manorville Friday morning using a flatbed truck from his family’s business, Scotty’s D & E Tire Service on East Main Street.

He dropped the donations off later at St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Mastic Beach.

“They are thankful for what they are getting, but they are overwhelmed by the citizens coming in to get what they need,” Mr. Robertson said. “They did stress that they are tight on space and they don’t need any more clothing. They need non-perishable food, cleaning supplies, bleach to clean the mold, industrial garbage bags, tools, hammers, brooms, and mops.

“They are also looking for pet food, kitty litter and other supplies to take care of their pets.”

On Saturday Riverhead Fire Department volunteers will be out in fire trucks at Waldbaum’s and Lowe’s and other retailers to collect donations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Roanoke Avenue firehouse will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday to collect donations with Riverhead High School cheerleaders and others volunteering to do sorting. Firefighters and their families will then prepare dinner for all the volunteers.

Ms. Starks said that WalMart donated a $200 gift card to the cause, but she wasn’t sure yet if it would be used for donations or to buy Christmas gifts for children those who lost possessions in Hurricane Sandy.

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09/13/12 2:15pm
09/13/2012 2:15 PM

A 24-year-old Shirley man was arrested Wednesday in Laurel after a domestic fight at a gas station escalated into the suspect “attacking” his companion and a responding police officer, then attempting to grab the officer’s gun, Southold Town police said.

Police were called to the Empire gas station on Main Road about 2:30 p.m. after witnesses — an off-duty state court officer and the officer’s wife — saw Jordan Gormez “attack” a woman he was with after pulling into the station, police said.

Mr. Gormez then allegedly threatened the court officer and his wife, who promptly called police, officials said.

When police arrived on the scene, Mr. Gormez tried to flee on foot, repeatedly ignored commands by officers and also physically attacked police, authorities said.

During the scuffle, Mr. Gormez attempted to grab one officer’s gun, police said. With the help of the off-duty court officer, Mr. Gormez was subdued and arrested, officials said.

During the investigation, officers found Mr. Gormez also did considerable damage to his female companion’s vehicle, police said.

Mr. Gormez was charged with criminal mischief, attempted grand larceny, resisting arrest, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation and four counts of second degree harassment, according to the report.

He was held overnight for arraignment in Southold Justice Court Thursday.

Police described the alleged violence only as “attacks” in a release, but based on the charges Mr. Gormez is accused of choking a victim.

Officials did say that the choking charge was “not in relation to one of our officers.”