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Timothy Bolger

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Timothy Bolger is the Editor in Chief of 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.

Long Island Weather Cold, Windy This Week

A snowy and gusty weeekend on Long Island are giving way to a cold and breezy week ahead with a few chances of rain and maybe some more snow next weekend.

President’s Day is forecast as sunny with high near 32, a wind chill as low as negative 3 and gusts as high as 34 mph before dropping down to 26 after sundown.

Up to a half inch of percipitation is likely to move in with fog Tuesday afternoon when the breeziness continues and highs will hit 47, according to Upton-based National Weather Service metoerologists. The showers are expected to dissipate before the temps drop down to 30 at night.

Wednesday and Thursday will be sunny and breezy with highs in the mid-30s and dipping into the low 20s overnight before another chance of rain and snow Friday into Saturday.

Valley Stream Target Bomb Scare A False Alarm

Nassau County police responded to a bomb scare that turned out to be a false alarm at the Target in Valley Stream on Sunday morning.

A 911 caller reported finding a suspicious item in the parking lot of the store on West Sunrise Highway shortly after 9 a.m.

Officers cordoned off the area while Arson/Bomb Squad detectives and the Emergency Services Unit responded and determined the item was a bag containing miscellaneous clothing items.

No injuries were reported..

Montauk Man Pleads Not Guilty to Fatal Hit-and-run

A Montauk man has been apprehended for fleeing the scene of a crash that left a  61-year-old pedestrian dead in Amagansett about four months ago.

Edward Orr pleaded not guilty Friday at Suffolk County court to a grand jury indictment charging him with leaving the scene of an accident with injuries, tampering with physical evidence and criminal mischeif.

East Hampton Town Police arrested the 30-year-old Feb. 7 for crashing his Jeep Cherokee into John Judge as the victim walked on Main Street on Oct. 23, 2012. A driver found the victim’s body near Hedges Lane and called 911, police have said.

Judge William Condon set bail for Orr at $500,000 bond or $250,000 cash. Orr is due badk in court March 20.

 

Nassau Police Conspiracy Verdict: Flanagan Guilty 3 of 4 Charges

NCPD Deputy Commissioner
William Flanagan surrendered to Nassau County prosecutors in March.

A jury has found former Nassau County Police Second Deputy Commissioner William Flanagan guilty of conspiracy and not guilty of receiving reward for official misconduct for helping a friend’s son escape arrest for a burglary.

Jurors handed down their verdict before Judge Mark Cohen shortly before 8 p.m. Friday. Flanagan had been convicted of two counts of official misconduct the night before, on Valentine’s Day. In all, he was convicted of three misdemeanors and acquitted of  the top charge, a felony.

“The jury took care of the felony, the Appellate Court’s going to take care of the misdemeanors,” Bruce Barket, Flanagan’s attorney, told reporters following the verdict, indicating that he’d be appealing.

“This isn’t over,” added Flanagan.

Prosecutors said that Flanagan helped quash the arrest and prosecution of his friend and wealthy police benefactor Gary Parker’s son Zachary, who stole more than $11,000 worth of computer and sound equipment from John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore in 2009.

Gary testified during the trial that he gave Flanagan three $100 gift cards shortly after the property was returned, but the jury was not convinced that it was a quid pro quo.  Zachary pleaded guilty to the burglary after he was indicted following a 2011 Long Island Press story exposing the thefts and coverup.

That story also sparked an investigation by the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office that led to Flanagan’s March 2012 indictment, along with that of retired Det. Sgt. Alan Sharpe and former Deputy Chief of Patrol John Hunter, who also pleaded not guilty. They’re slated to be tried separately.

Flanagan’s sentencing has been scheduled for May 1.

“This case has always been about making sure that there isn’t one set of rules for the wealthy and connected, and another set for everyone else,” Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement Fright night.  “This is a huge win for the public, but it’s also a sad day for an awful lot of incredibly hard-working Nassau cops who do their brave jobs honestly every day. This case is a reminder that to safeguard the public’s trust and the integrity of our honest officers, we must be vigilant in our fight against corruption and misconduct.”

Most jurors declined to comment after they were released following the four-week-long trial, which included about a week of deliberations. One juror said the jury was convinced there was a conspiracy after reviewing the testimony of Deputy Inspector Lorna Atmore, the former Seventh Precinct Squad commander.

“We realized it was a conspiracy from the beginning from day one,” the juror said, referring to Atmore’s testimony that she she became concerned with Parker’s connections to police brass when the case came in just before she was promoted out of the unit. “They did what they did. They can’t undo that.”

Freeport Teen Admits Armed Robbery, Ramming Cop Car

A Freeport teenager has admitted to stealing a car from a man at gunpoint and ramming it into a Nassau County police car after officers chased him into an elementary school parking lot last year.

Remick Menjivar pleaded guilty Friday at Nassau County court to robbery and assault.

Prosecutors said that the 19-year-old and another man, Edwin Flores, 21, of Hicksville, approached the victim in the driveway of his Hicksville home when Menjivar pulled  out a 9mm Republic Arms semi-automatic handgun and demanded the victim’s keys, wallet, and cell phone on March 20, 2012.

Menjivar fled in the victim’s Infiniti G35 while Flores followed in a Toyota Corolla but officers spotted the stolen Infiniti shortly later and tried to pull over Menjivar, who instead drove into the parking lot of the Fayette Elementary School on Merrick Avenue in North Merrick, where he crashed head-on into a patrol car.

The Infiniti then crashed into the school building. Menjivar tried to flee again but was quickly apprehended. Several officers were injured in the chase, including one who suffered a serious head injury.

Flores was arrested in Freeport shortly later. The Corolla he was driving had been carjacked four days prior in Queens. Flores pleaded guilty to robbery last month and is awaiting  sentencing.

Judge William Donnino has promised to sentence Menjivar to 14 years in prison on March  15.

Nesconset Driver Pleads Not Guilty to Deadly Hit-and-run

A man pleaded not guilty Thursday at Suffolk County court to allegations that he was the driver in a hit-and-run crash that killed a 23-year-old pedestrian in Hauppauge last fall.

Craig Williams was indicted last month on a charge of leaving the scene of an accident with injuries, a felony. Judge Stephen Braslow set his bail at $25,000.

Newsday reported that prosecutors appointed Garden City-based attorney Stephen Scaring as a special prosecutor in the case because Williams’ father is an investigator with the Suffolk County district attorney’s office.

Both the suspect and the victim, 23-year-old Thomas Wik, are from Nesconset.

Police have said the deadly crash occurred on Route 347 in the early morning hours of Saturday, Sept. 29.

Williams is due back in court March 22. He faces up to four years in prison, if convicted.

West Babylon Murder Arrest Made After 19 Years

Troy Arrighi
Troy Arrighi

Suffolk County police Homicide Squad detectives have arrested a New York City man in a nearly 20-year-old cold case murder invesetigation.

Troy Arrighi, 37, of Manhattan, was taken into custody at his East 30th Street home on Thursday and charged with second-degree murder.

“It was a straight up robbery,” said Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick, who was unable to discuss more about the case because detectives are still searching for the suspect’s alleged accomplice. He coulnd’t say what led to the suspect’s apprehention after so long.

Police said the alleged gunman and another man shot and killed 30-year-old Mario Andujar during an attempted robbery of the Diamond Trucking Company on Cabot Street in West Babylon on March 22, 1994.

A second victim and fellow mechanic, then-22-year-old Juan Garcia, was also shot but survived. Garcia recovered at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip.

Arrighi will be arraigned Friday at First District Court in Central Islip.

Dix Hills Hit-and-run Injures Elderly LIE Driver

A hit-and-run dump truck driver seriously injured an elderly man and caused a four-vehicle-crash on the Long Island Expressway in Dix Hills before fleeing the scene on Thursday evening, Suffolk County police said.

Gloria Montoya, 49, Commack, was driving a Honda Accord eastbound on the LIE near exit 51 when her car was rear-ended in the center lane by the dump truck that was merging from the right lane at 7:30 p.m., police said.  The Accord then struck the concrete center divider, a Toyota Solara in the HOV lane and a Dodge Magnum in the center lane, police said.

The driver of the Solara, 83-year-old William Broer of Hauppauge, was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital where he was listed in serious condition. Montoya was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip where she was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.  The driver of the Magnum, 35-year-old Carlos Gonzalez of Central Islip, was not injured.

Police described the dump truck that fled the scene as a newer-model, clean silver or grey-colored vehicle.

Second Squad detectives are continuing the investigation and ask anyone who may have witnessed this incident or has information to contact them at 631-854-8252 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.  All calls will be kept confidential.

Wyandanch Shooting Leaves 2 Men Wounded

Two 24-year-old men were shot and wounded in their hometown of Wyandanch on Thursday afternoon, Suffolk County police said.

The victims were standing with a group of people on Davidson Street near the corner of Troy Avenue when they were hit by the gunfire shortly before 1 p.m.

Both men drove themselves to local hospitals for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. One of the men was shot in the arm and went to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip. The other man was shot in the shoulder and went to St. Joseph Hospital in Bethpage.

First Squad detectives ask anyone with information on this shooting to call them at 631-854-8152 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.  All calls will be kept confidential.

Nassau County Casino Proposals Slammed by Anti-Gambling Group

Dave Mejias anti-casino gambling
Nassau County Legis. Delia DeRiggi-Whitton (D-Glen Cove), left, ex-lawmaker Dave Mejias, center, and others announce their opposition to building a casino on Long Island on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013.

About a dozen members of a new anti-gambling group declared their opposition Thursday to any proposals to build a casino in Nassau County, citing quality of life concerns and worries that a deal to bring Atlantic City-style gaming to Long Island could be in the works.

The group dubbed themselves Nassau Residents Against Gambling Enterprise Development, or N-RAGED for short, during their debut press conference on the steps of the Supreme Court building in Mineola. Members of various neighborhood civic organizations as well as current and former local Democratic lawmakers round out its ranks.

“We are afraid that our suburban quality of life will be torn apart by some backroom deal in Albany,” said Dave Mejias, an attorney, a former Nassau legislator and the chairman of N-RAGED. “We want to make sure that Long Island is not going to be sold out to those special interests.”

He was referring to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to legalize casino gambling in New York State, a plan that requires a second consecutive vote of approval in the State Legislature before voters ultimately decide its fate in a referendum. The Shinnecock Indian Nation in Southampton has been scouting for a location to build a gaming facility since winning federal recognition in 2010.

Despite the timing of the rally about an hour after fellow Democratic former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi held a press conference announcing his intentions to reclaim his old position, Mejias maintained that the group was “a-political.” Nevertheless, participants praised Suozzi’s agenda and criticized the Republican who unseated him, Ed Mangano, for proposing a casino at Nassau Coliseum. Also speaking at the anti-casino rally was Nassau Legis. Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, another Democrat from Suozzi’s hometown of Glen Cove.

“It’s a question of whether or not we really want to push gambling,” said DeRiggi-Whitton, adding that she prefers alternative proposals to build sports or research centers that have been floated for Uniondale and Elmont. She and others also expressed concerns that bringing casino gambling to LI would further strain social services because there might be an increase of gambling addicts losing their homes after betting on cards and other games of chance and tearing their families apart.

Cuomo had said during his State of the State address last month that he thinks whatever casinos New York builds should be located upstate, drawing tourists from LI and New York City. When reminded of the governor’s idea, Mejias said it’s still possible LI could be dealt a gaming facility while negotiations continue.

Shinnecock Trustee Chairman Randy King told the Press in a statement that if and when the tribe settles on a potential location to open a casino, they are required by federal law to ask the community for input.

“There has not been any recent activity regarding Shinnecock gaming in Nassau County,” the statement read in part.

Aside from the aging coliseum in Uniondale, there have also been proposals in recent years to build a casino at the Belmont Racetrack in Elmont, where the latest development pitch is for a soccer stadium for the New York Cosmos.

A spokesman for State Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), the co-leader of the chamber who has been instrumental in Belmont redevelopment talks, did not return a call for comment. Neither did a spokeswoman for Mangano.

“We spend a lot of money sending our kids away to college,” said Mejias. “They’re not going to be able to live here if they come back to be cocktail waitresses and blackjack dealers.”