A Patchogue man pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to a six-count indictment in Suffolk County Criminal Court on charges that he burglarized and set fire to a home belonging to an East Patchogue Air National Guard reservist and State Trooper currently serving overseas with the 106th Rescue Wing, based in Westhampton.
Harry Fleischmann Jr., 33, pleaded not guilty to second-degree burglary, third-degree arson, three counts of third-degree grand larceny and one of fourth-degree grand larceny, all felonies, according to the Suffolk County district attorney’s office.
He was arraigned before Judge John Iliou. The court granted the D.A.’s office’s bail request of $500,000 cash or $1 million bond, which he did not post. He is being held at the Suffolk County Jail in Riverside.
Mr. Fleischmann was arrested by the Suffolk County Police Pattern Crimes Unit on January 16 after officers said he set fire to Eric Carver’s Lake Drive home on December 27. Mr. Carver is on active duty in Africa.
According to the D.A.’s office, Mr. Fleischmann ransacked the house, stole the Trooper’s SUV, off-duty handgun, holster, some ammunition and a generator. He also lit fire to the house, destroying its living room and kitchen.
The charges in the indictment say he stole a 1995 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer, a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche, a credit card and more than $3,000.
Bank Robber Sentenced
A man charged with robbing the TD Bank in Hampton Bays in September was sentenced to 3 1/2 to 7 years in prison, the Suffolk County district attorney’s office said on Tuesday.
Donnell Thomas, 29, of Selden pleaded guilty to third-degree robbery, a felony, and had a prior weapons possession charge, making him a prior felony offender.
On September 10, Mr. Thomas walked into the West Montauk Highway bank and handed a teller a note stating, “I have a gun, give me the money or die!!” the D.A’s office said.
Police said he made off with more than $1,000 in cash, using about half of it to secure a rental car.
Health Aides Arrested
Two women who worked as home health aides in East Quogue were arrested last week after Southampton Town Police said the pair stole a man’s identity, used it to secure credit to buy more than $3,000 worth of merchandise online and had the items shipped to the mobile home of an elderly woman they were supposed to be caring for and into whose home they moved, with permission of her guardian.
Ann Hennessy, 51, and Susan Hartmann, 44, were arrested at the East Quogue Mobile Home Park on Old Country Road at 4:52 p.m. on January 24 and were each charged with third-degree larceny, a felony, and third-degree unlawful possession of personal identification, a misdemeanor, after police said they stole his credit cards and personal information. Ms. Hennessy was additionally charged with third-degree forgery, a misdemeanor, after signing for the merchandise.
Detectives said they were led to the two caretakers while investigating some fraudulent charges made on an area man’s credit card. Ms. Hennessy and Ms. Hartmann, police said, had made large purchases of such items as coffeepots, boots, comforters, bedspreads and curtains for use by themselves and their family members.
Ms. Hennessy and Ms. Hartmann were remanded to the Suffolk County Jail in Riverside in lieu of $2,500 bail following arraignments in Southampton Town Justice Court.
The case remains under investigation, and police and Adult Protective Services are looking into possible misconduct related to the care of the elderly woman, Lieutenant Lisa Costa said.
Town Police have arrested several health care aides in the past year, including the November arrest of a Mastic man who was charged with using the credit card of his employer—the Independent Group Home Living in Hampton Bays—to fuel his personal vehicle.
Assault Reported In Riverside
Southampton Town Police are investigating a report of an assault and possible hate crime that allegedly took place in Riverside last week.
A Riverhead woman, 37, reported to police on Sunday that shortly after midnight on Thursday, January 24—three days prior—she was at the Valero gas station on Peconic Avenue near the hamlet traffic circle, when she was attacked by “several” men.
The report states that she told police that after she approached one of the men and asked him for a cigarette, she was “grabbed by her face and shoved backwards into a parked car, causing pain to her back and neck.”
Three other people tried to hit her and made a statement about her sexual orientation and appearance.
She sought medical attention the following day at Peconic Bay Medical Center, where she was diagnosed with head, neck and back trauma, police said.