Timothy Bolger

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Timothy Bolger is the Managing Editor for the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.

Syosset Man Dead After Car Plunges Into River in Conn.

(Photo credit: Tony Webster/Wikimedia Commons)

A 76-year-old Syosset man died after his car plunged into a river in Connecticut and a woman in the vehicle was nearly swept away over the weekend.

Richard Lamendola drove his car off of a Saugatuck River boat launch on Elaine Road in Westport at 7:40 p.m. Saturday, Westport police said.
Patrons at the nearby Whelk Restaurant heard a woman screaming for help and called 911.

Responding officer found a woman struggling in the river while being swept away by the current, police said. Firefighters boarded a civilian boat and rescued the woman.

The woman, who was taken to Norwalk Hospital for treatment, told police that she was in a vehicle that ended up in the water and believed the driver may still be in the water, authorities said. Shortly later, officers found the man up the river. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police are continuing the investigation but do not suspect foul play.

Muttontown Man Charged With Fatal Hit-and-run in LIE Crash

Areefeen Hirji

An alleged hit-and-run driver was the second suspect charged in a Woodbury crash that left one dead last week, Nassau County police said.

Areefeen Hirji, 19, of Muttontown, was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal crash. A judge set his bail at $10,000 cash or $25,000 bond.

Homicide Squad detectives alleged that Hirji was driving one of possibly three vehicles involved in a crash on the eastbound said of the Long Island Expressway near exit 44 shortly before midnight Thursday.

Jonnathan Santos, 20, of Manhasset, was previously arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving while impaired after a passenger was fatally ejected from his vehicle in the crash, police said. His bail was set at $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond.

The identity of the passenger, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was not released.

Santos is due back in court Tuesday and Hirji is due back Thursday.

Gabreski Airport Airplane Crash Leaves 2 Dead, 1 Critical

police
Morguefile photo

A small, single-engine airplane with three people aboard crashed into trees while practicing takeoffs and landings at Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach on Sunday morning, authorities said.

The Ryan Navion F, a circa 1951 propeller plane, crashed at the Suffolk County-run airport at 11:40 a.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration, which is responding to the incident. Two people were killed in the crash.

Richard Rosenthal, 61, of HUntington Station, the owner of the plane lone survivor of the crash, was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of his injuries. Those killed in the crash were identified by police as Arieh Narkunski, the 64-year-old flight instructor, from Brooklyn, and a passenger, 65-year-old Robert A. Wilkie of Hempstead.

Southampton Town Police said New York State police also responded to the scene. The National Transportation Safety Board will be in charge of the investigation and will determine probable cause, the FAA said.

Holbrook Woman Hit, Killed by SUV

A 62-year-old Holbrook woman was fatally hit by an SUV while crossing a road in Ronkonkoma on Friday night.

Suffolk County police said Cynthia Chorzempa was crossing Ronkonkoma Avenue when she was struck by a GMC Yukon at 8 p.m.

The victim was taken to Stony Brook University Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

The driver, who stayed at the scene, was not injured.

Fourth Squad detectives impounded the vehicle, are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information on the crash to call them at 631-854-8452.

Carle Place Crash Leaves Pedestrian Dead

A 34-year-old Queens man was fatally hit by a car while crossing a road in Carle Place on Friday afternoon.

Nassau County police said Kristopher Flannery, of Astoria, was crossing Glen Cove Road when he was hit by a northbound Honda Accord near the corner of Fairfield Avenue at 1:47 p.m.

The victim was taken to Winthrop University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The driver was not injured.

Homicide Squad detectives determined the crash to be an accident.

Miller Place Boy Fatally Hit by SUV

police
Morguefile photo

A 14-year-old boy was fatally hit by an SUV while riding a bicycle in his hometown of Miller Place on Friday evening.

Suffolk County police said Nicolo Signore was biking northbound across Route 25A when he was struck by a Honda Pilot making a left turn at the corner of Miller Place Road shortly after 5 p.m.

The victim was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The driver stayed at the scene and was not injured.

Sixth Squad detectives impounded the vehicle and are continuing the investigation.

Roslyn Heights Home Invasion Probed

(Photo credit: Tony Webster/Wikimedia Commons)

Nassau County police are investigating a Roslyn Heights home invasion in which a woman was accosted early Saturday morning, authorities said.

Four men entered a Sherwood Lane home through a side door and demanded money from a 63-year-old woman, who one of the suspects threatened while another held her on the ground and ripped a gold chain from her neck at 12:40 a.m., police said.

One of the other suspects stole cash from the victim’s pocketbook before they fled the scene, police said.

The victim’s 66-year-old husband, 66, was sleeping in a different part of the home at the time. There were no reported injuries.

Third Squad detectives ask anyone with information about this crime to contact Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.

Ex-Fugitive Gets 3 Years for Conning $1M from Long Island Firm

A former fugitive from California was sentenced Friday to three years in federal prison for trying to scam $1 million from a Garden City law firm after he escaped from prison in 2009 while serving a sentence for committing the same scam in the Golden State.

Richard Lagerveld had pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud charges in 2012 at Central Islip federal court for the second set of crimes.

Prosecutors said the 57-year-old law school graduate initially devised a scheme to defraud two Long Island law firms out of more than $9 million by submitting claims for non-existent plaintiffs to class action lawsuit settlement administrators.

He was arrested for that scam in 2004 at a San Diego homeless shelter. Authorities seized $8.5 million from his accounts before he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He then escaped in ’09 while traveling unescorted on a bus taking him from one prison to another as part of a program for low-risk inmates, The Associated Press reported.

Apprehended two years later, Lagerveld pleaded guilty to committing the same scam while he was on the run. The escape charge was dropped in exchange for his plea.

Ex-NCPD Commander Surrenders to Jail in Cover-up Case

William Flanagan
Former Second Deputy Nassau Police Commissioner William Flanagan, convicted of conspiring to cover up a burglary, faced a press swarm after his arrest in March 2012. (Photo by Rashed Mian/Long Island Press)

A former Nassau County police commander surrendered Thursday morning to county jail to begin serving his 60-day sentence after he was convicted of helping cover up a burglary, officials told the Press.

William Flanagan, the ex-second deputy Nassau County police commissioner, recently lost an appeal of his conviction before the New York State Court of Appeals, although his attorney had said Flanagan was filing a motion to re-argue their case.

Court officials and law enforcement sources said Flanagan surrendered to Nassau County jail in East Meadow. Sources said he is expected to serve his time at Suffolk County jail in Riverhead. His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“William Flanagan’s imperious behavior brought scandal to his department and this county,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said. “Today, nearly eight years after his crime, William Flanagan is finally serving his sentence for official misconduct and conspiracy… No one – including William Flanagan – is above the law.”

A Nassau County jury convicted Flanagan of conspiracy and official misconduct following a month-long trial in 2013. He was acquitted of receiving reward for official misconduct, a felony. Two weeks ago, the state’s highest court affirmed a previous appeals court ruling upholding the conviction.

Prosecutors said Flanagan helped quash a burglary committed by Zachary Parker, the son of his friend, Gary Parker, who volunteered for and donated to the nonprofit Nassau County Police Foundation. Zachary, who was a Nassau police Ambulance Bureau intern at the time, had stolen thousands of dollars worth of electronics from his alma mater, John F. Kennedy High School, shortly before his 2009 graduation, authorities have said.

Parker wasn’t arrested for the theft despite school officials repeatedly insisting that they wanted to press charges. The theft and cover-up were the subject of a 2011 Press expose, which sparked an investigation by the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office.

Parker was subsequently convicted of burglary, sentenced to prison after violating his probation, and has since been released.

Flanagan was among three former police officials charged in the cover-up. John Hunter, the retired Deputy Chief of Patrol, and Det. Sgt. Alan Sharpe both pleaded guilty to misconduct and were sentenced to probation in connection with the case. They were spared jail time in exchange for their pleas.

Judge Mark Cohen—a Suffolk judge brought in after two Nassau judges recused themselves from the case—had sentenced Flanagan to 60 days in jail, but execution of that term had been repeatedly stayed pending the appeal. Cohen also sentenced Flanagan to five months of probation.

Moriches Crash Leaves Driver Dead

(Photo credit: Tony Webster/Wikimedia Commons)

A 31-year-old Mastic Beach man was killed when he crashed his SUV in Moriches early Thursday morning.

Suffolk County police said Daniel Krehl was driving a Saturn Vue eastbound on Montauk Highway when his vehicle struck the rear of a tractor trailer that was parked with its hazard lights near the corner of Fanning Landing Road at 2:37 a.m.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Seventh Squad detectives impounded the Saturn, are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information on the crash to call them at 631-852-8752.