After a passenger reported that there might be weapons on board, a Long Island Rail Road bus was hemmed in by East Hampton Village and Southampton Town police cars as it arrived at Railroad Avenue in East Hampton at about 2 p.m. on Thursday. No weapons were found, East Hampton Village Police Chief Gerard Larsen said after the incident.
The chief said there had been “a little altercation” between a couple and a group of six people on the bus, all eight of them traveling to Montauk. “Words are exchanged,” Chief Larsen said, adding that the couple ended up feeling intimidated and concerned that “a weapon might have been involved.”
According to police, the man in the couple called 911 to report that there were five men on the bus with guns after he thought he overheard one of them say something in Spanish about a knife.
The railroad was running shuttle buses instead of trains to its easternmost stops because of construction, and the group of six had boarded in Speonk after having arrived earlier at John F. Kennedy International Airport. When the bus arrived in East Hampton, police interviewed the couple and the group of six separately. According to the police report, the bus driver requested that the group of six leave the bus and wait for another bus running a few minutes behind the one he was driving. No one wanted to pursue charges, the police report said.
Before the second bus arrived, one member of the group of six, Iraida Rodriguez, explained that they had just arrived from Puerto Rico and were on their way to Montauk to start jobs. The couple was unhappy about having to wait in Speonk while all of the group’s luggage was loaded, Ms. Rodriguez said. When a cellphone belonging to one of the group rang, the woman told its owner to put on headphones to listen to music. The situation escalated, Ms. Rodriguez said, and the woman’s partner seemed to think they were talking in Spanish about the couple.
Ms. Rodriguez said the couple had treated her group disrespectfully.
Ray Lord of East Hampton, a passenger who was not involved in the incident, said after disembarking that the woman had told the people in the group of six, “You’re not going to talk to me like that.”
“I just put on my headphones,” Mr. Lord said.