A 66-year-old Huntington man was arrested at a public hearing at Huntington Town Hall for allegedly biting a police officer on her arm as he was being hustled out of the meeting room Tuesday night, Suffolk County police said.

Wearing outlandish gold-lamé, Dutch-style wooden shoes fit for a Keebler elf and a white shirt emblazoned with green turtles, Daniel Karpen had shown up about 20 minutes before the scheduled start of a 7 p.m. town council hearing on a controversial proposal to construct 360 age-restricted condos on Elwood Road in East Northport.

At the main entrance to the building a public safety officer asked to look inside his backpack but Karpen refused, police said. Instead, he bolted inside the meeting room, where throngs of supporters and opponents of the project had already taken their seats. As they tried to make sense of what was happening, Karpen grabbed the podium, laughed at the crowd and began shouting.

He reportedly had a box of wooden turtles in his backpack. A frequent attendee at Huntington Town council meetings, Karpen was known for wanting the town to remove its restriction against fishing in the pond at Heckscher Park, a town official said. Why Karpen chose the public meeting on the Elwood condo project to make a stand is unclear.

As officers from the Second Precinct attempted to handcuff him, Karpen allegedly bit a female officer in the hallway, police said. She was later taken to Huntington Hospital with non-threatening injuries.

Karpen was charged with disorderly conduct, trespassing, resisting arrest and assault. He will be arraigned Wednesday at First District Court in Central Islip.


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Spencer Rumsey, the Long Island Press’ senior editor, has worked on dailies, weeklies and monthlies, including New York Newsday and the New York Post, the East Village Eye and the supermarket tabloid Star Magazine. Starting at the Press in 2010, he’s written award-winning stories on planning, politics and policy, to name a few topics, and he’s taken on a wide range of targets in his Press blog, Rumsey Punch.