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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.

Hempstead Man Shot by Cops Charged With Woman’s Murder

A Hempstead man has been accused of killing a woman after he was wounded in a shootout with police officers on Thursday afternoon.

Hempstead village police officers responded to a call of a domestic disturbance at a Roosevelt Street home when Leonard Reed started shooting at the officers at 1:33 p.m., police said.

The officers returned fire, shot the 45-year-old alleged gunman and took him to Nassau University Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening gunshots wounds, police said.

The officers were not injured, but they found a 42-year-old woman with multiple gunshot and stab wounds dead on the kitchen floor and a 26-year-old woman suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest, police said.

The surviving woman was also hospitalized for treatment of a non-life threatening injuries. Police did not release the victims’ names.

Homicide Squad detectives charged Reed with second-degree murder. He will be arraigned at the hospital.

Wading River Man Fatally Hit by Car

A 52-year-old man was fatally struck by a car in his hometown of Wading River on Thursday evening.

Riverhead Town Police said John W. Hyte was walking in the eastbound lane of Route 25A near the corner of Little Leaf Court when he was hit by a Subaru Outback shortly before 6 p.m.

The victim was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The driver, 71-year-old Anthony Simonetti Jr. of Riverhead, was not charged.

Police are continuing the investigation.

NCPD Conspiracy Case Reaches Closing Arguments

William Flanagan in court
Former Nassau County Police Department Second Deputy Commissioner William Flanagan inside Nassau County Court in January.

A jury must decide whether an ex-deputy Nassau County police commissioner committed a crime when he helped return property his friend and nonprofit collaborator’s son stole from school to avoid an arrest as prosecutors allege, or if there is not enough evidence to convict him of conspiring with other cops accused of initiating the alleged cover-up, as the defense argues.

Both sides made their closing arguments Thursday after jurors heard testimony from 18 witnesses, listened to dozens of emails be read into evidence and endured what observers estimated was a record number of sidebars for 12 days at county court in Mineola starting Jan. 15. Deliberations were slated to begin Friday after Judge Mark Cohen provides the jury with its instructions.

“When you go hunting for the big fish, sometimes you get caught up in the hunt and you end up looking for something that’s not there,” said Bruce Barket, attorney for the defendant, William Flanagan, while discrediting the case sparked by a Press expose. “At the end of the day, the return of property is not criminal and that…is the fatal flaw with this prosecution.”

Bernadette Ford, an assistant district attorney trying the case, aimed to connect the dots back to Gary Parker, who testified he asked Flanagan and his co-defendant, former Deputy Cheif of Patrol John Hunter, for help returning stolen computers–effectively dropping charges against Parker’s son, Zachary, who burglarized $11,000 in electronics from John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore four years ago.

“Discretion to not arrest because of a relationship, that is an abuse of discretion,” she told the courtroom packed with law enforcement officials on either side of the case. “It’s a violation of duty.” She added, “It’s not what you did, it’s who you know, or who your father knows.”

While both sides agreed that the elder Parker was not credible when testifying that school officials told him they planned to drop the charges against his son, prosecution and defense attorneys disputed whether his gifts to Flanagan were compensation for returning the property.

They also disputed if Lorraine Poppe, the school’s principal, was unclear when telling police she wanted an arrest. The only testimony more debated than Parker’s and Poppe’s was that of retired Det. Bruce Coffey, who testified against Flanagan to avoid prosecution himself.

Flanagan faces up to four years in prison, if convicted. Hunter and another co-defendant, retired Det. Sgt. Alan Sharpe, had their cases severed from Flanagan’s after all three pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and misconduct charges in March 2012. The younger Parker is serving prison time upstate after pleading guilty to the burglary last year.

Huntington Woman Stole $3K from PTA, Cops Say

A Huntington woman has been accused of stealing $3,000 from a Parent Teacher Association for special education students over a six-year period

Suffolk County police arrested Sally Torres, the former president of a Harborfields Central School District parent volunteer group, on Thursday morning.

Second Squad detectives alleged that the 42-year-old woman stole the money between Jan. 1, 2007 and July 31, 2012 while she held various positions with the group.

Torres was charged with grand larceny. She will be arraigned Thursday at First District Court in Central Islip.

Long Islanders Join Empire State Building Run-Up

Kelly Ripa leads the Media groups runners for the 2013 Empire State Building Run-up. February 6, 2013 ( credit: Kevin Kane )
Kelly Ripa leads runners in theEmpire State Building Run-up. Feb. 6, 2013 ( credit: Kevin Kane ) 

 

A contingent of Long Islanders joined more than 730 runners that raced up 86 floors Wednesday in the Empire State Building Run-Up for the grueling 36th-annual “vertical marathon.”

Among them were Art Sorenson, 51, of Long Beach, who returned to the building where he met his wife to help him regain some normalcy after Superstorm Sandy wrecked his family’s home, and 69-year-old Rick Feinstein of Jericho, who’s training for next year’s anti-elevator event to try something more challenging after running 33 New York City Marathons.

“I’ve been through this whole aftermath so I’d really like to get my life back to normal,” said Sorenson, a Red Lobster manager whose neighborhood is still only partly repopulated. “If you can believe that [means] running up the Empire State Building.”

He also climbed 1,576 stairs — like he did in 21 minutes last year — for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, which sponsors the race to raise funds to find a cure for the rare form of blood cancer. The tower lights were lit up orange and white for the event organized by the New York Road Runners.

Feinstein, a CPA who did the stair-climbing race twice in the ’80s, didn’t expect a repeat of his 14 and 15-minute finish times.

“Anyone can run when it’s sunny and nice and warm and flat,” he said. “It takes a marine to do it when it’s not.”

Mark Bourne, a 29-year-old Austrailian endurance athlete, reached the observatory from the lobby first with a time of 10 minutes, 12 seconds. Suzy Walsham, a 39-year-old fellow Aussie, won the women’s division in 12 minutes, 5 seconds.

9 Inches of Snow Forecast for Long Island

Click here: Long Island winter storm update.

Long Island’s groundhogs are really trying to prove their point that winter isn’t over yet.

A storm is forecast to blanket New York City and LI with between six and 10 inches of snow Friday and Saturday, prompting Upton-based National Weather Service meteorologists to issue a winter storm watch.

“The heavy snow and strong winds could result in near-blizzard conditions…bring down some tree limbs…and cause scattered power outages,” the NWS said in a statement Wednesday.

Nassau and Suffolk counties are expected to see between six and nine inches with up to a foot of snow on the East End, although the predictions could change later, NWS meteorologists said.

The snow and 35-mph north winds with gusts up to 60 mph are expected to decrease visibility to a quarter mile or less at times, making driving dangerous.

The precipitation is forecast to begin Thursday night with less than an inch of snow into Friday morning, when heavy rains during the day are expected to change back to snow Friday night and continue into Saturday afternoon, according to the NWS.

Sunny skies will return Sunday but a chance of rain and snow is forecast again for Monday and Wednesday next week.

Drugged Driver Injured Mom in Head-on Crash, Cops Say

A man has been arrested for drugged driving in a head-on crash, injuring a woman who had an infant in her car in Shoreham on Tuesday morning, Suffolk County police said.

Denis Karachopan was driving his BMW westbound on Route 25A when he crossed into the opposite lane of traffic and hit an eastbound Nissan shortly after 11 a.m., police said. Officers found the 24-year-old man to be under the influence of drugs, police said.

The woman and her 3-week old baby were taken to Stony Brook University Medical Center, where the woman was treated for serious injuries. The baby was not injured.

Karachopan was charged with driving while impaired by drugs, heroin possession and possession of a hyperdermic needle. He is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday at First District Court in Central Islip.

Near-blizzard Conditions in LI Forecast for Friday

It looks like Long Island’s groundhogs were right about winter sticking around because the forecast is calling for a messy snow storm to hit the region.

Snow is expected to start falling Thursday night into Friday morning before turning to rain and then back to snow again Friday night. Upton-based meteorologists with the National Weather Service predict “significant snowfall and strong winds with near-blizzard conditions,” the agency said in a statement.

Minor coastal flooding and beach erosion are likely with the storm, according to NWS. A chance of snow lingers before noon Saturday before temperatures warm up to above freezing.

Sunday is forecast as sunny before a chance of rain and snow moves in again Monday.

Coram Man Pleads Guilty to Fatal Stabbing

A Coram man has admitted stabbing a 32-year-old man to death  nearly two years ago.

Darrell Scott pleaded guilty Tuesday at Suffolk County court to first-degree manslaughter.

Prosecutors said the 26-year-old man fatally stabbed Chauncey Scott, 32, also of Coram, on Aug. 27, 2011. The two men are not related.

The stabbing occurred during an altercation on the corner of Baldwin Lane and Pinegrove Avenue in Gordon Heights.

Scott will be sentenced by Judge Braslow Stephen on March 7.

Wyandanch Man Accused of Sexually Abusing Teen in Robbery

A Wyandanch man has reportedly been accused of sexually abusing a teenager authorities say he robbed in Northport in 2011.

Ariel Perez, 23, was arrested last month and pleaded not guilty at Suffolk County court last week to charges of sexual abuse, criminal sexual act, unlawful imprisonment and robbery, records show.

NBC 4 New York cited an anonymous source in reporting that a tip led MTA police to the suspect who allgedly locked a 16-year-old boy in the bathroom at the Long Island Rail Road station, sexually abused him and robbed him of $110 in August 2011.

Judge Barbara Kahn set bail for Perez at $90,000 cash or $30,000 bond. He is due back in court Feb. 25.