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Top Police and Crime Stories of 2012

See which Westhampton-HamptonBays police stories caught your eye in 2012.

While we normally just post a crime blotter on Westhampton-Hampton Bays Patch, incidents now and then will catch our eye to pull out. Here a few that caught your eye as well over the past year:

1. 

Three Hampton Bays men were arrested in early December in a drug bust orchestrated by the East End Drug Task Force, according to Southampton Police. Police arrested Ronald Jiminez Sr., 63, on felony drug charges  and two other men were charged with violations of unlawful possession of marijuana.

2. Manhattan Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Hitting Bicyclist While Drunk

A Manhattan lawyer pleaded guilty  in early December to driving drunk and fleeing the scene of a crime after he hit a man riding his bicycle in Quogue last summer, and sent him to the hospital with serious injuries.

According to online court records, 35-year-old Tabber Benedict, the founder of Benedict Advisors, pleaded guilty to felony charges of first-degree vehicular assault, two counts of second-degree vehicular assault, and leaving the scene of an accident with a serious injury.

3. 

A Hampton Bays woman was arrested on Saturday on DWI charges after police said she hit a dog while she was driving drunk on Neptune Avenue and proceeded to leave the scene of the accident.

According to police, 66-year-old Eileen Egan struck and injured a dog being walked by its owner around 4:20 p.m. She then allegedly left the scene of the accident, and was caught by police a short time later on Beth Lane.

4. Police Nab Wrong-Way Driver on DWI Charge Friday After 911 Calls

Numerous 911 calls just after midnight in September alerted police to a wrong-way driver on Sunrise Highway near East Quogue, leading to a drunken driving arrest.

According to the New York State police, Lianne Alcon, 34, of Riverhead, drove at least two exits going west in the eastbound side of Sunrise Highway before they managed to pull her over at about 12:30 a.m.

Riverside troopers said her blood alcohol level was .15, nearly twice the legal limit. She was charged with driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor. 

5. Police Seek Hampton Bays Bank Robber

Police have charged a Selden man in connection with a robbery at TD Bank branch on West Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays on Sept. 10. The man handed a bank teller a note indicating that he had a weapon and demanded cash, according to police. 

6. Cops Say 40 People Rescued in Hampton Bays Saturday Night; 3 Face Charges

In a statement released on Aug. 26, Southampton Town police detectives said that on Aug. 25, 40 people were rescued from the water or the sandbar in Shinnecock Bay where a party had previously been held and that three people are facing charges related to the massive water rescue incident.

Det. Timothy Wilson said it all began at around 8:20 p.m., when the department received a report of two male swimmers who appeared to be in distress in the Shinnecock Inlet.

7. Cops: Man Sexually Abused 12-Year-Old

A Hampton Bays man was arrested on Aug. 15 on charges that he sexually abused a 12-year-old child last month.

Fabian D. Valencia, 36, was released from the Suffolk County jail on $5,000 cash bail the day after his arrest at Southampton Town police headquarters.

Southampton Town police said that Valencia was charged with sexual abuse in the second degree and endangering the welfare of a child, both misdemeanors.

8. DWI Driver Admits Fault for Teen Death in Civil Suit

A civil court case between a Mattituck woman and the family of Joseph Marino ended on Aug. 9, when the two sides formally agreed to a financial restitution settlement and Caroline Goss admitting in an open courtroom that driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol led to the death of the 15-year-old Hampton Bays teen in August of 2009.

9. Police Identify Quiogue Drowning Victim

Southampton Police have identified a man who was found dead in a backyard Quiogue pool.

In a statement to the media on Aug. 7, police said the man, who they believe was in his 20s, is Efrain Suruy and had been living in the Village of Westhampton Beach. 

Police said the man's family has been notified and detectives are awaiting the Medical Examiner’s results to confirm any contributing factors to his death.

10. DWI Charged After Head-on County Road 39 Crash

A Hampton Bays man involved in a pre-dawn head-on collision in Southampton July 10 now faces charges of aggravated driving while intoxicated and reckless driving, according to police.

Southampton Town police said 38-year-old Troy M. Slovensky was driving westbound on County Road 39 at 4:34 a.m. on July 10 when the crash occurred, in which his Jeep flipped over and caught fire.

11. Charges Dropped Against Taylor Geib

Charges of criminally negligent homicide were dismissed in July following a car crash that killed 18-year-old Cameron Nicholls last year, according to Newsday.

A Suffolk judge recently dismissed the charges against Taylor Geib, now 18 years old, reportedly stating that, "The defendant's behavior was certainly negligent and unquestionably blameworthy but the crash was, as a matter of law, the result of a noncriminal failure to perceive a risk."

12. Westhampton Beach Cops Issue Hundreds of Tickets on Main This Summer

Since Memorial Day weekend, traffic control officers have issued 821 tickets, that carry with them fees from $75 for a basic violation to $330 for parking in a handicap-reserved spot. 

13. Jet Ski Rolls Over in Shinnecock Bay; 2 Men Rescued

Two men, whose Jet Ski rolled over on July 16, were plucked from Shinnecock Bay, three buoys south of the Shinnecock Canal locks, by a fellow boater, according to Sgt. Andrew Ficurilli of the Southampton Police Department.  Ficurilli said the call came in at 7 p.m. that two men, wearing life vests, were in the water. 

14. 

Coast Guard officials responded on July 2 to a call for a boat in distress after a 37-foot Sundancer started smoking in its engine room. No injuries were reported in the incident.

15. Report Indicates Driver Was Asleep at the Wheel in East Quogue Crash

Four people were sent to the hospital after a head-on collision in East Quogue on May 30 at around 4:30 p.m.Southampton Town Police said that preliminary reports indicate that one of the drivers fell asleep at the wheel.

16. Cops: Water Skier Severs Hand in Quantuck Bay

A 22-year-old, who was water skiing at a company end of summer outing in Quantuck Bay, lost her hand, according to Southampton Town Police.

Police say a co-worker was pulling the woman on a jet ski near Hobart Lane in Quiogue around 2:17 on Sept. 17 when the woman wrapped her hand in the tow rope, instantly severing her hand.

17. Hampton Bays Man Dies After Car Lands in Shinnecock Canal

Southampton Town police confirmed on Jan 3  that the driver of a 2001 Lincoln sedan that was submerged in the Shinnecock Canal has died. He has been identified as Simon R. Flaherty, 80, of Hampton Bays.

Police said that at 2:24 p.m. they received numerous calls of a car driving from the Meschutt County Park parking lot in Hampton Bays and into the Peconic Bay side of the Shinnecock Canal. A Suffolk County police helicopter was called in to aid divers in locating the car, and Hampton Bays Fire Department divers were able to get Flaherty out of the car, police said. "Hampton Bays Volunteer Ambulance members made every attempt to resuscitate him," police added, and he was officially pronounced dead by a Southampton Hospital emergency room doctor at 4:06 p.m.

18. Truck's Brakes Failed Before Plunging into Bay

According to Southampton Police, the brakes on a Ford pickup failed when the truck attempted to stop at the intersection of Lynn Avenue and Argonne Road East, leading to the truck plunging into the Shinnecock Bay on May 15.

19. Woman Alleges Taxi Driver Hit Her Before Deadly Altercation

A woman at the center of an alleged altercation that resulted in the death of a Riverhead taxi driver said he attacked her.  According to police, Faith Miller, a Hampton Bays resident, alleges she was punched by Riverhead resident Robert Levasseur, a Four Ones Taxi Service driver, who later died from injuries related to an alleged "road rage" incident that occurred on Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays on April 21 after an onlooker reportedly interceded.

20. Truck Gets Stuck Under Overpass in Hampton Bays

On April 4, a northbound truck got stuck under the a railroad train trestle overpass that is adjacent to the Southampton Town Parks and Recreation Administration building on Newtown Lane in Hampton Bays at the Shinnecock Canal.  Southampton Town Police and emergency personnel shut down northbound traffic for about half an hour in order to free the truck from the overpass that has a 11' 6" height restriction by letting out the air in its tires.

21. 

A 911 call made late in the evening on March 8 brought Southampton Town police to a Hampton Bays residence on Springville Road where 27-year-old Callie Hester was arrested at 11:50 p.m. and charged with fifth-degree arson, child endangerment and possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.

22. UPDATE: Police Release Name of Deceased Boater

Southampton Town Police were investigating the death of a boater who was found dead north of Dune Road in East Quogue on Jan. 23. According to police, John Lindahl, 59, of East Quogue, was found nearly a quarter mile from his 18-foot skiff. 

23. State Police: New Year's Wrong-Way Driver Intoxicated

Preliminary reports indicate that East Hampton resident James Riley, 60, had over three times the legal limit of alcohol in his system when he drove the wrong way on Sunrise Highway near exit 63 in Westhampton and crashed his 1996 Oldsmobile into a 2000 Suzuki, carrying a family of three. State Investigator Steven Collins said, Riley's toxicology report showed that Riley, who died in the crash, had a .30 bac.

24. Cops: Hampton Bays Wrong-Way Driver Caused 2 Accidents

Police say that just minutes before Marvin Cardona-Lopez slammed his 1995 Ford Explorer head-on into a tree removal company truck on Montauk Highway near the Canoe Place Road intersection, he sideswiped a sedan near Edgewater Restaurant on Jan. 2.

25. 

A 35-car pileup on the Long Island Expressway killed a Blue Point woman and injured 33 Dec. 19, closing the highway and backing up traffic for miles, Suffolk County Police said. Police said the accident, which happened in Shirley just west of the William Floyd Parkway, was caused when a tractor-trailer carrying storm debris driven by Raymond Simoneau, 42, of Rockingham, VT, struck several cars and caused a chain of accidents on what is Long Island's busiest major highway. Police said 35 cars were damaged, and the tractor-trailer as well as two other vehicles burst into flames.

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