Rashed Mian

Rashed Mian has been covering local news for the Long Island Press since 2011. He graduated from Hofstra University in 2010 where he studied print journalism. Rashed, the staff's multimedia reporter, covers daily news for the web, shoots/edits feature videos and writes about civil liberties. He loves Afghan food and sports. Rashed is also a caffeine freak. Email: [email protected] Twitter: rashedmian

Cops: Suspects Shouted Anti-Muslim Slurs & Threatened To Kill Gas Station Clerks

Nassau County police are searching for two suspects who went on an anti-Muslim rant and threatened to kill two Cedarhurst gas station clerks because of their religion, police said.

The incident, which occurred at a Shell gas station on Rockaway Avenue on Saturday night, is also being investigated as a potential bias crime due to the suspects’ racial slurs and anti-Muslim remarks.

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According to police, the two suspects—a man and a woman—grew angry after they were denied “slushies” because the gas station wasn’t able to make the frozen beverages at that time. They became more enraged when a store clerk denied their use of an electronic food stamps card to purchase several other unidentified items.

That prompted the woman to throw food at the clerk and “to use racial slurs, anti-Muslim remarks and threatened to kill both store clerks,” said Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun, the police department’s chief spokesman, at a press conference Monday at police headquarters in Mineola.

When one of the clerks demanded they leave, the male suspect pushed a New York State Lotto machine to the ground, causing $4,000 worth of damage, LeBrun said. The man also launched a 6-foot metal cart and two bottles of antifreeze in the clerks’ direction, he added.

Prior to fleeing the store, the pair repeated their anti-Muslim remarks and physical threats.

LeBrun declined to go into specifics about what was said, reiterating that they were “very disparaging and very harmful remarks.”

Anti-Muslim attack
Nassau County police are searching for these two suspects, who they say shouted anti-Muslim remarks at a gas station clerk

“I’m just going to basically state that they were derogatory, and they did threaten to kill them based on their religious and ethnic origin,” LeBrun said.

A manager at the gas station told the Press he wasn’t working Saturday but he was informed the woman shouted, “Kill him! Kill him!” to her companion.

“They messed up the place,” said the manager, who wished only to be identified by his initials, G.S.

The manager said this was the first time in three decades that anything like this had happened.

“Even in 9/11 [this] never happened,” he told the Press. “I don’t know what was in their mind.”

G.S. said he didn’t know what specifically was said during the altercation.

At the press conference, LeBrun said bias crimes “will not be tolerated in Nassau County.”

Although police are investigating the incident as a possible bias crime, LeBrun said authorities believe it was the clerk’s insistence that “slushies” were unavailable that sparked the outburst.

The suspects were last seen fleeing the store northbound on Rockaway Avenue. The man was described as black, wearing a black shirt, shorts, and a blue baseball cap that was turned backwards. The woman was described as black, wearing a white shirt, shorts and long, black, braided hair.

Authorities are analyzing video footage and information regarding the electronic food stamps card.

Detectives ask anyone with information about the crime to call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All calls are anonymous.

(Featured photo: Tony Webster/Creative Commons License)

Heat Wave to Cook Long Island & Region

Long Island weather

Hope you’re ready for another burst of extreme heat, Long Island.

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Sweltering mid-90s temperatures are in this weekend’s forecast as a heat wave surges toward the region, according to forecasters.

Long Island heat wave temperatures

The National Weather Service in Upton is predicting a blazing hot start to the weekend on Saturday with a high near 95. Luckily, the mercury should fall about 20 degrees during the evening, providing Long Islanders with a brief respite.

Sunday’s expected high temperature is 91, the weather service said.

As the forecast currently stands, Long Island will only have the heat to contend with this weekend as no summertime storms are expected.

That’s not the case for Friday, however.

Potential Friday storms

Forecasters are warning of isolated showers and thunderstorms Friday afternoon that could produce small hail, gusty winds, and heavy rain.

Another round of heavy rain could drench the Island later in the evening, meteorologists said.

The Island is under an air quality alert until 11 p.m. Friday. The alert is triggered when forecasters believe air quality levels spark health concerns. The South Shore is also under a high rip current risk throughout the day and evening.

Health officials are advising people prone to elevated levels of pollutants—traditionally the very young and people with pre-existing health problems like asthma or heart disease—refrain from strenuous outdoor activity.

PSEG Long Island said it’s monitoring the heat and potential storms and encouraged ratepayers to be mindful of energy usage.

    The utility recommends that customers:

  • Seal holes and cracks around window air conditioners
  • Close blinds to keep the sun out
  • Cool the house only when it’s occupied
  • Replace air filters, if necessary
  • Use other household appliance other than ovens to heat food

Excuse us while we find a pool to take a dip in.

Cops Responding to Fatal Massapequa Fire Among 4 Injured in Crash

Massapequa fire and crash

Two Nassau County police officers responding to a house fire that killed its sole occupant were among four people injured in a chain-reaction crash in Massapequa Thursday morning, police said.

The officers sustained only minor injuries, police said. The woman involved in the collision with police and a pedestrian who was knocked into a parked car were both listed in serious condition.

The dramatic crash came as the pair of officers were racing to a raging fire on North Suffolk Avenue just after 9 a.m., said Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun, the department’s chief spokesman, at the scene of the crash.

According to LeBrun, the officers were crossing the intersection at New York Avenue and Broadway when their vehicle was struck by a 2002 Toyota Camry. Then the Camry jumped the curb and slammed into a pedestrian, who was launched into a parked Nissan Rogue.

The mangled Camry only came to a stop after it had barreled into a corner hair salon that was unoccupied at the time of the crash. The salon, which had a “Grand Opening” sign dangling from its facade, suffered extensive damage.

The 63-year-old female driver of the Camry was transported to the hospital with serious injuries, LeBrun said. The pedestrian was said to be in very serious condition at a local hospital.

The officers were undergoing a medical evaluation, LeBrun explained.

“There’s never any routine police call—every call is serious,” LeBrun said. “We always try to use good judgment; they did have the right of way, they’re responding to a 911 emergency call. Unfortunately the woman did have the stop sign and did proceed through that intersection.”

LeBrun said the department’s main focus was the health of those who were injured.

“At this point we just want to make sure everybody is safe,” he said.

Police did not immediately identify the 79-year-old victim of the morning blaze. The man, who was alone in the house, was pronounced dead at the scene, LeBrun said.

LeBrun said the officers “did their best to try to enter the home” but were unable to because of the extreme heat emanating from the house.

LeBrun did not say what had sparked the fire.

Portions of Broadway and the street where the blaze occurred remained taped off through the afternoon.

The collision was the first major incident involving Nassau police since the department temporarily ordered officers to patrol in pairs earlier this week. The department triggered its heightened-alert protocol following Sunday’s ambush slaying of three cops in Baton Rouge.

“Until further notice we have two police officers in each car,” LeBrun said. “We assess daily with regard to any changes that we’re going to make.”

Trump’s GOP Nomination Sparks Cheers, Jeers & Fears

Republican National Convention

It’s Donald Trump’s party now.

Trump officially became the GOP presidential nominee during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland Tuesday, on a night when jailing presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton became the dominant theme.

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The reality TV star formally received the presidential nomination after the Republican National Committee, through some creative maneuvering, allowed New York State to pledge its delegates out of order.

Representing the GOP delegation for New York State was Trump’s son Donald Trump, Jr.

“It’s my honor to be able to throw Donald Trump over the top in the delegate count tonight,” Trump, Jr. said.

And with that, the once long-shot presidential hopeful who had managed to overcome challenges from more mainstream Republican conservatives, emerged as heir to the throne of the party of Lincoln.

“Today has been a very, very special day, watching my children put me over the top earlier,” said Trump, whose informal acceptance speech was beamed over a large screen. The candidate will formally accept the party’s nomination on Thursday night.

Trump ran one of the most unconventional primary campaigns in recent history. Instead of grassroots politicking, he relied on delivering bombastic speeches in front of mass audiences and maintaining a hyperactive presence on Twitter.

His atypical campaign rhetoric has also been controversial. Trump has been accused of inflaming racial tensions with his anti-immigrant fervor and proposals to have Mexico build a 40-foot wall along its 2,000-mile border with the United States and to ban Muslims from entering the United States.

Now that the business tycoon has secured the nomination, Hispanics and Muslims in America are wondering where they stand as an already divided nation braces for four more months of wall-to-wall election coverage.

Long Islanders react to Donald Trump’s nomination

Watching the GOP convention Tuesday night, Nayyar Imam, who has served as Muslim chaplain for the Suffolk County police and is the president of Long Island Muslim Alliance, said he couldn’t help but think of comedian and former CBS Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson’s, “It’s a Great Day for America” segment.

“It’s a bad day for America,” Imam observed.

Imam expressed shock at the constant barrage of attacks aimed at Clinton. But he also came away pleasantly surprised after hearing House Speaker Paul Ryan’s speech on Tuesday.

“Everything is about Hillary Clinton,” Iman said. “There’s nothing about Donald Trump.”

Matthew Ugaz, a 19-year-old junior at Binghamton University who lives in Stony Brook, said he was initially “unsurprised” upon hearing the news of Trump’s coronation.

“However, I feel very angry and a bit unsettled about what’s going to happen to our Latino community,” Ugaz, a U.S. citizen whose family emigrated from Peru, told the Press.

Adding to his uneasiness was Trump’s selection of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice president. Pence is scheduled to address the Republican convention Wednesday night.

“I am very worried,” said Ugaz, a volunteer at the immigrant advocacy group Make The Road Action. “Some of my family is illegal and undocumented.”

The advocacy organization has been busy going around communities and encouraging immigrants here legally to register to vote.

“Most immigrants that we spoke to that are allowed to vote, some of them are uncertain because they’re scared to make their voices heard,” Ugaz said. “There’s no reason to be afraid to have your voice heard.”

Plagiarism controversy swirls

Before voters can head to the polls, there’s still party business to address. Trump has to formally accept the nomination, which he’ll do on Thursday. The Democrats will hold their convention in Philadelphia next week.

“It’s been a great convention, very well-run, well-organized,” Suffolk County Republican Party Chairman and Trump surrogate John Jay LaValle told the Press in a phone interview as he stood by the Cleveland waterfront awaiting Trump’s arrival Wednesday.

“It was a great night,” he said of Tuesday’s roll call vote that gave Trump the nod. “It was tremendous. Especially being from New York, I was very proud to support Mr. Trump…It was very exciting. Everyone was elated, in the whole room, by the way.”

“You really felt like you were part of history and something very special,” LaValle added.

While most party officials were eagerly anticipating Trump’s acceptance speech, controversy was still lingering from Monday night when his wife Melania Trump was accused of plagiarizing parts of First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech from 2008.

For two days the Trump campaign denied that segments of the speech were swiped. But on Wednesday Trump’s campaign released a statement in which a speechwriter accepted blame for the mishap.

“I asked to put out this statement because I did not like seeing the way this was distracting from Mr. Trump’s historic campaign for president and Melania’s beautiful message and presentation,” said a statement attributed to Meredith McIver, an in-house speech writer for the Trump organization.

For his part, Trump seemed unfazed by the controversy, taking comfort in the old adage: “All publicity is good publicity.”

With Melania’s cribbed speech hanging over the convention Tuesday night, the show went on with Trump’s roll call vote and speeches from GOP bigwigs like Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie needling Clinton.

Christie, a former federal prosecutor, stood onstage and held a mock trial of Clinton, lambasting her for personal and professional missteps he deemed illegal, prompting the convention goers to repeat in unison, “Lock her up!”

On Twitter, Clinton’s campaign shot back at Christie by referencing the so-called “Bridgegate” scandal, when his underlings closed the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, N.J., causing a colossal traffic jam that stretched miles.

Political consultant Michael Dawidziak, who worked at three Republican conventions from 1988 to 1996 as an aide to former President George H.W. Bush and candidate Bob Dole, acknowledged that this year’s GOP convention has been unlike any other.

“I say this one is clearly the most different one I’ve seen ever,” he said with a laugh when reached at his Long Island office. “It’s certainly a different type of convention. It’s not sticking to your typical script.”

As the Cleveland convention rolls on to its inevitable conclusion, Imam said he’s eager to see if Trump will still spread his anti-immigrant message during Thursday’s speech when the prime-time TV audience may be the largest of the week.

“That’s something we have to watch,” he said.

(Featured photo: Republican National Committee photo via Facebook)

Greenlawn Man Shot in the Face, Cops Say

Suffolk County police are searching for a gunman who shot another man in the face in Greenlawn Tuesday night, police said.

According to police, the victim was talking to a woman in front of his Lafayette Street home when bullets rang out at 11:15 p.m. The man suffered a gunshot wound to the face, police said.

The unidentified victim was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, police said.

The investigation into the shooting is continuing, police said.

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call the Second Squad at 631-854-8252 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

Long Island Heroin-Cocaine Drug Rings Dismantled, DA Says

Heroin on Long Island

Suffolk County authorities said they disrupted two drug distribution networks and arrested 14 people as part of a months-long probe into drugs flooding into the East End.

The East End Drug Task Force executed more than a dozen search warrants since July 14, resulting in the seizure of six kilos of cocaine and heroin, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office said.

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Three of the 14 people swept up in the busts were either members of or belonged to an offshoot of the Bloods street gang, the DA’s office said.

“Drug dealers and weapons are a deadly combination,” said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations New York, in a statement. “We are pleased to have removed several of both off the streets of Suffolk County during these enforcement operations.”

The widening investigation into the pair of drug distribution networks took shape after patrol officers on the East End noticed “a significant upward trend” in heroin and cocaine drug busts beginning last September, the DA’s office said.

Investigators then developed information that led them to focus on a cocaine operation in Riverhead and Southampton.

Arrested as part of the large-scale bust were 36-year-old Corey Woodley of Flanders and 42-year-old Eric Thomas of Riverhead. Both men were allegedly involved in the operation of those two networks, authorities said.

Thomas, who was out on parole, was arrested on July 14 after East End Task Force members executed a search warrant at his home. Investigators said they seized cocaine and more than $4,000 in cash from the house, along with scales and other drug paraphernalia. Thomas is facing several drug-related charges.

The arrests associated with the months-long probe go back several weeks. On July 6, Task Force investigators arrested Ronald Paschall as he was returning to the East End after allegedly picking up more than a kilo of cocaine in New York City, authorities said.

Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota alleged that Paschall, a purported gang member, traveled west twice a week to pick up cocaine, which he then sold to resellers, who would distribute the drugs to residents in East Hampton, Riverhead, Southampton and Southold Towns.

Paschall’s 38-year-old associate, Jimmy Dean of Baiting Hallow and Dwayne Harris of Riverhead, his accused drug runner, were allegedly responsible for a second distribution ring, Spota said. Paschall, Dean and Harris were also accused of drug crimes and gang affiliation. Paschall was additionally charged with unlawful fleeing from a police officer.

The East End Task Force is a multi-agency drug enforcement unit that includes Suffolk County police, New York State police, village and town police departments, federal agencies and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

DA Spota said there were more arrests to come.

Hofstra University to Host 1st Trump-Clinton Presidential Debate

presidential debate Hofstra University

Hofstra University in Hempstead will be the site of the first presidential debate of the 2016 election this September, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced Tuesday.

This is the third consecutive presidential election in which Hofstra will host a debate.

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Hofstra, which was originally chosen as an alternate location, was confirmed as debate host after Wright State University on Tuesday pulled out of holding the event on its Ohio campus.

The debate is scheduled for Sept. 26 and will pit presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton against billionaire businessman Donald Trump, whose nomination is expected to be confirmed at this week’s Republic National Convention in Cleveland.

“Hofstra University is honored to be called on to host the first presidential debate on Sept. 26, 2016,” Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz said in a statement. “This is an extraordinary privilege and responsibility. We greatly appreciate the faith shown in us by the Commission on Presidential Debates, and we have begun preparations for a very successful debate.”

In its statement on Tuesday the Commission on Presidential Debates noted that Hofstra “served very successfully as a presidential debate site in 2012.”

“The Commission looks forward to working with Hofstra once again,” the statement added.

Wright State University on Tuesday cited rising costs with its decision to withdraw from hosting the debate, according to Dayton Daily News.

In a series of Tweets, the university’s president, David R. Hopkins, said the decision “has weighted heavily on my heart.”

Hofstra is one of only two schools to host consecutive presidential debates, in 2008 and 2012, and the first to ever host three in a row.

But Hofstra’s presidential history began long before the 2008 and 2012 debates.

Hofstra has hosted 12 presidential conferences, covering every president from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to George W. Bush, and five presidents have visited the campus: Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Besides John McCain and Mitt Romney, Hofstra is also home to the Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency, which boasts former 2004 Democratic presidential candidate Howard B. Dean as a presidential fellow who guest lectures several times each semester.

In 2012, hundreds of protesters and activists held demonstrations on a variety of issues outside the campus on Hempstead Turnpike and the surrounding area. Green Party candidate, Jill Stein, who is running again this year, was arrested at the university’s front entrance after trying to bring attention to the United States’ two-party system and the inability of third-party candidates to participate in the debate.

It’s unclear how much hosting the event and providing adequate security will cost Hofstra and Nassau County.

Trump’s rally at Bethpage this spring cost Nassau County police an estimated $400,000 in overtime and related expenses.

Tickets for the Hofstra debate will be distributed to current university students through a lottery, the university said.

“Tickets will not be available through Hofstra University personnel, and tickets are not available through any means at this point in time,” Hofstra said on its website.

This story has been updated to include information about tickets for the event.

Cops Rescue Windsurfer Amid Thunderstorms in Great South Bay


A man swept off his windsurfing board in the Great South Bay Monday was rescued by Suffolk County police officers who found him neck deep in the water and clinging to his board.

Suffolk County Police Marine Bureau officers responded to the call Monday night after a witness on shore lost sight of the windsurfer in the bay just south of Heckscher State Park in Great River after he was knocked off the board by high winds and waves.

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A line of thunderstorms had roared across the area just before the man, 56-year-old Donald Roth of New Jersey, became separated from his board, police said.

Two officers aboard a rescue boat managed to spot Roth in the water about 20 minutes into their search, police said. Wearing a wetsuit and a helmet, Roth was found clinging to his board.

Officers pulled him out of the water and took him to the Heckscher State Park boat basin in Great River, police said. Roth did not suffer any injuries and did not require medical attention.

Roth was not wearing a life jacket, police said. Authorities advise anyone heading out to the water to wear a personal flotation device and check the weather forecast prior to going out to sea.

A 29-foot U.S. Coast Guard rescue boat also participated in the search, police said.

How Long Island Authorities Reacted to Recent Cop Slayings

cop murders

Police officials on Long Island said they’ve taken extra precautions to guard against “unprovoked attacks” on cops in light of the recent slayings in Dallas and Baton Rouge.

The decision to exercise more vigilance in Nassau and Suffolk counties comes after eight cops were killed in 10 days by two black men with military backgrounds. Both suspects were reportedly aggravated by fatal shootings of African Americans at the hands of the police.

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Eight cops killed

The latest tragedy came Sunday, when a former U.S. Marine identified as Gavin Long gunned down three cops in Baton Rouge, La., in what authorities there have described as an “ambush.”

Ten days earlier, a lone sniper gunned down five police officers in Dallas during a protest condemning the deaths of two black men at the hands of cops. The nation had just come to grips with the murder of the five officers when another American urban street was turned into a site of carnage and heartbreak.

Both attackers were killed in subsequent confrontations with authorities.

“These brave officers who pledged to serve and protect were gunned down by cowardly individuals,” said Nassau County Police Chief of Department Steven Skrynecki during a hastily arranged memorial for the fallen officers held Monday morning outside police headquarters in Mineola.

Nassau, Suffolk police institute added precautions after cop deaths

Nassau County police said officers would patrol in pairs as the department continues to collaborate with federal and local authorities to assess the local threat level.

“The Nassau County Police Department is taking all steps necessary to ensure the safety of the public and its police officers,” the department said in a statement. “There will be intensified patrols in areas of mass transit, public gatherings, and near critical infrastructure. Social media outlets will be intensely monitored, and we request the public’s assistance in any way possible to stop threats to public safety.”

Suffolk County Police Department was less specific about how the latest slayings would impact their police work, but the department did state that “Additional measures were immediately implemented after this attack to ensure the safety of our police officers and the citizens of Suffolk County.”

Officials in Suffolk also noted that the police department is working in concert with federal authorities, and is receiving updates on the attacks.

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and his counterpart in Suffolk, Steve Bellone, ordered all flags to fly at half-staff.

The intense divide rippling through communities across America spilled into the public consciousness after video footage earlier this month appeared to show a Louisiana man named Alton Sterling being fatally shot after he was already pinned down by police officers. The following day, an officer in Minnesota fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop—its aftermath was posted live on Facebook by the victim’s distraught fiancé, who was in the car with Castile at the time of the shooting.

The killings sparked days of intense protests across the country. They also reopened fresh wounds, as an already divided America has been forced to confront an uptick in these deadly tragedies.

Honoring the fallen

Outside Nassau County police headquarters on Monday, several dozen officers stood silent as a police officer played “Taps” in honor of the fallen.

The police department laid a wreath near its own memorial dedicated to Nassau police officers killed in the line of duty.

Several officers in SWAT gear stood sentry atop the building with their eyes trained on the proceedings below. Their presence was perhaps the most telling example of how police are not leaving anything to chance during this intense period.

The tone of the memorial was both solemn and disgruntled, as each person who came to the podium said police officers deserve more support.

“Next time you see a police officer, please shake their hands,” a local rabbi said.

Deputy Nassau County Executive Rob Walker said he refused to consider a world where police officers were restricted from properly doing their jobs.

“I don’t know what society would become,” he said.

Even as Skrynecki showed disdain for the “cowardly” gunmen who claimed eight police lives in Dallas and Baton Rouge, he sought to present a unifying tone.

“We must be careful not to pit ourselves against the communities that we serve,” he said.

James Carver, president of the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association, was more bullish.

“We saw hate spread even more,” Carver said of the recent shooting. He then went on to lament what he perceives to be insufficient support for police among America’s leaders, including the White House.

“We deserve the benefit of the doubt, which we have not gotten from the top of the country,” Carver said.

Obama’s remarks not ‘strong enough’

For the second time in the course of 10 days President Barack Obama was called upon to try to heal a grieving nation.

“We as a nation have to be loud and clear that nothing justifies violence against law enforcement,” he said Sunday at the White House. “Attacks on police are an attack on all of us, and the rule of law that makes society possible.”

“Five days ago, I traveled to Dallas for the memorial service of the officers who were slain there. I said that that killer would not be the last person who tries to make us turn on each other,” Obama added. “Nor will today’s killer. It remains up to us to make sure that they fail. That decision is all of ours. The decision to make sure that our best selves are reflected across America, not our worst—that’s up to us.”

Carver was not impressed with Obama’s remarks.

“I don’t think it was strong enough, because then the president proceeded to talk about how we all must get along,” Carver said.

“Cops’ lives aren’t more important than anybody else, but cops’ lives are very important, because we’re out there protecting everybody when they’re home sleeping, when they’re working,” he said.

“The cop’s job isn’t to get shot first or anything,” Carver continued. “When he confronts a criminal, you know what the criminal is thinking? The criminal is thinking, ‘How do I get away? How can I sit there and beat up this cop and do something to this cop so I can get away and get home to my family?’

“So, our police officers, yeah, they’re trained to sit there and be able to defend themselves and take appropriate action,” Carver said. “Remember, police don’t escalate. The criminals escalate.”

Nassau PBA, along with two other local police unions, will hold a fundraiser at Mulcahy’s in Wantagh Monday for the fallen officers’ families in Dallas and Baton Rouge. All the proceeds will be divided among the survivors.

Man, 40, Killed in Rocky Point Crash

A 40-year-old Mt. Sinai man was killed in a single-car crash in Rocky Point Thursday morning, Suffolk County police said.

According to police, Jeffrey Kitz lost control of his 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer as he drove south on County Road 21 and veered into the opposite lane before crashing into the woods.

The Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office pronounced Kitz dead at the scene, police said.

The vehicle was impounded for a safety check, police said. The investigation is continuing.

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