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Feb 21, 2018 11:00 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Shinnecock Tribal Members Upset Over High-Speed Chase In December Involving Unmarked Police Car

A sign at the entrance of the Shinnecock Reservation says
Feb 21, 2018 12:05 PM

A high-speed chase in December on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation involving Southampton Village Police led to felony charges against two tribe members who stopped the unmarked police car—and has revived a debate over whether local police are overstepping their authority by entering the reservation.

On December 4, an unmarked Southampton Village Police Department vehicle was in pursuit of Scott Hornstein, 52, of Southampton, who was wanted for violating his probation from an earlier offense. The pursuit continued onto the reservation at high speeds.

The speeding vehicles reportedly caused alarm among tribe members, who were concerned about the safety of children coming home from school at that time. Two tribe members, Linee Quinn, 42, and her son Chace A. Quinn, 19, used their vehicles to block the pursuing vehicle, unaware that it was involved in a police chase.

Because they interfered with the chase, the two were placed under arrest by the police officers in the unmarked car and charged with two felony counts each of second-degree obstruction of governmental administration.

Mr. Hornstein eluded police on December 4, but, according to Detective Sergeant Herman Lamison of the Southampton Village Police Detective Division, he was located and arrested on the North Fork on February 14. He was charged with third-degree unlawfully fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, a Class A misdemeanor. He was arraigned and remanded to the Suffolk County Jail in Riverside because of the probation violation that led to the initial chase.

A former tribal official is defending the actions of the two Shinnecock Indian Nation members charged in connection with the incident and encouraging them to fight the felony charges when they appear in Southampton Town Justice Court on April 4, saying tribe members are empowered to act to protect the safety of those on the reservation.

“It was an unmarked car with what looked like crackheads inside,” said Lance Gumbs, a former tribal chairman of the Shinnecock Indian Nation and vice president of the National Congress of American Indians for the Northeast Region. “There was no marking on the vehicle, no lights … who in their right mind would think these guys are cops?”

Mr. Gumbs said tribal leadership has empowered all members of the tribe to stop any car from coming onto the reservation—which is private property and sovereign land—and to intervene when a motorist is driving recklessly and putting people in danger.

The incident also has resurrected a debate about whether Southampton Town or Southampton Village police are permitted to enter reservation land, even while chasing a suspect. Mr. Gumbs says police have overstepped their boundaries too many times. The only police department that is allowed on the reservation, according to Mr. Gumbs, is the State Police.

“We are extremely upset with this and this rogue attitude when it comes to the Shinnecock,” Mr. Gumbs said. “This needs to be fought up the chain.”

Calls to Shinnecock Indian Nation spokeswoman Beverly Jensen seeking comments about the incident and the criminal case were not immediately returned. Attempts to reach the defendants were unsuccessful.

Det. Sgt. Lamison said the only time Village Police go onto the reservation is during a pursuit. He noted that if a police officer is in pursuit of a suspect and crosses state or county lines, he is allowed to continue the pursuit.

When it comes to the reservation, Det. Sgt. Lamison said, local police always call State Police for backup, and vice versa: “We’re police officers and we protect each other’s backs.”

Southampton Town Police Chief Steven Skrynecki concurred, saying his team typically does not go onto the reservation unless in pursuit of a suspect. “An arrangement has been in place for a long time,” he said. “The basis seems to outdate the people working currently.”

Chief Skrynecki also explained that his department is always available to back up the State Police on the reservation when needed.

But East Hampton-based attorney George Stankevich—who said he is familiar with the charges the Quinns face, but would not say whether he is representing them in court—said state law dictates that only State Police can enter the reservation. But with so many new faces in power, he said, the sovereignty of the reservation land is misunderstood.

“They should realize there is a foreign country in their midst,” Mr. Stankevich said.

If State Police chased a person into Canada, Mr. Stankevich explained, they could enter because of treaties that are in place. When it comes to the reservation, only State Police can enter.

Mr. Gumbs said the issue is not just about which police agencies can enter; it is also about “a reckless pursuit that wouldn’t take place down the street” in nearby Southampton Village.

Currently, the tribe does not have its own police force, in part because it’s unable to fund one, according to Mr. Gumbs. Until such a department is in place, the tribe will continue to rely on the State Police, he said.

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Why was the unmarked police car only blocked and not the car they were chasing? Why wasn’t that question brought up in this article?
By Flannery66 (9), Hampton Bays on Feb 21, 18 2:09 PM
That would probably go to the defendants' state of mind and stay unanswered, if they have a decent attorney at least.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8065), HAMPTON BAYS on Feb 21, 18 2:35 PM
Loll, a different county or state, the Shinnecock Nation is not. They are literally a sovereign nation. There is no treaty that exists that says local police can infringe if there is an ongoing chase, no matter what our police chiefs would like you to believe. Anyone from here should be able to tell you that. We all know only State Police are allowed. Just hilarious how saying something from a position of power seems to make it true.
By Brandon Quinn (191), Hampton Bays on Feb 21, 18 2:48 PM
Is there any jurisprudence regarding the exigency of immediate pursuit by local pursuit into a reservation?

In the most extreme case, if Police witness a murder one inch over the border are they required to abstain from pursuit as soon as the perpetrator crosses into Shinnecock land?

I guess we need bilateral agreements as mentioned with Canada?
Feb 21, 18 2:55 PM appended by Fore1gnBornHBgrown
*local police
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8065), HAMPTON BAYS on Feb 21, 18 2:55 PM
I rarely agree with you Brandon, but you nailed this one.
By bigfresh (4595), north sea on Feb 22, 18 11:44 AM
Southampton Village police in an unmarked car. In hot pursuit...for a probation violation? Was Mr. Hornstein armed and dangerous, an imminent threat to himself or others? This town is getting scarier and scarier. And those roads are called "Gates" for a reason. If I was the leader of the Shinecock Nation I would put real gates up, start issuing automated gate openers to Tribe members.
By dfree (810), hampton bays on Feb 21, 18 6:06 PM
Since the tribe asserts some expanded definition of national sovereignty every time local police need to enter the res, perhaps the Town and Village should put up a wall and truly seal them off. Make them obtain Visas for travel off the reservation. These two clowns are stopping a speeding car presumably driven by someone who appeared to be a non-tribal member. But a year or to ago the Press gave a glowing eulogy to a couple tribal members who died when they wrapped their car around a tree just ...more
By Funbeer (273), Southampton on Feb 22, 18 5:08 AM
Think the reservation council should speak with all the local pd's and come up with a plan.
No taxes are paid for enforcement, so none is expected. Wait for the state to show when they can. Can't have it both ways...
By knitter (1907), Southampton on Feb 21, 18 7:26 PM
1 member liked this comment
Can't have what both ways? The poorly trained Southampton Village "plainclothes" police car racing through a neighborhood with no sidewalks and children walking home from school? Then charging folks blocking the car with a felony? What was Mr. Hornstein's parole violation? Thiere's more to this story.
By dfree (810), hampton bays on Feb 21, 18 10:02 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Feb 22, 18 4:13 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8065), HAMPTON BAYS on Feb 22, 18 8:41 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Mouthampton (437), Southampton on Feb 22, 18 8:35 AM
I’m sure they are using all the town services for their needs with no issues what so ever. If they want to be closed off from the rest of the town fend for your self. I’m sure the 2 that got arrested wouldn’t stop an ambulance who was going to assist a heart patient or fire truck going to put out a fire. Sorry you can’t have it Both ways. Could you see the out cry if someone from the Tribe went in to the SH hospital and asked for treatment and them being refused because they ...more
By Tomjulie (43), Hampton Bays on Feb 22, 18 9:50 AM
1 member liked this comment
Just to nitpick, an ambulance and firetruck would both have been clearly marked unlike the undercover cruiser.

Also, anyone who walks into the ER gets necessary life-saving treatment despite insurance, nationality, or ability to pay.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8065), HAMPTON BAYS on Feb 22, 18 9:58 AM
Wasn't it recent when the tribe wanted to use private beaches and not have to pay? I see cars ride in and out of there with no plates on their cars and no headlights at night. Why?
By Win sky (57), Southampton on Feb 22, 18 10:24 AM
Was scott turned over to the police, he violated the trespassing rules posted at the Gates. To the full extent of the law???
Armed? Who knew at the time? Gates would be just like our Estate areas, guards???
By knitter (1907), Southampton on Feb 22, 18 11:40 AM
This type of chase has already resulted in a crash before: "Southampton Village Police arrested a Southampton man last Friday night after he led police on a chase that ended when his car struck another car, injuring himself and one other person." May 22, 2013
Perhaps speed bumps are easier to install at the Res than automatic gates. I know I would like them used more often around town.
By dfree (810), hampton bays on Feb 22, 18 12:23 PM
1 member liked this comment
Brilliant idea, EZ PASS???
By knitter (1907), Southampton on Feb 22, 18 3:48 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By lirider (288), Hampton Bays on Feb 22, 18 11:12 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By oneseriousSicilian (63), medford on Feb 23, 18 7:31 AM
All the local residents know that the Village & Town Police have no jurisdiction on the Shinnecock Reservation. And the State Police however do. The officers chasing this man should have simply stopped at the entrance an called the State police. The local man they were chasing , whos well know for having a police record, clearly would have resurfaced in due time. Which happened on Feb 14.

Instead they chased him. And bc of this, now 2 members of the Tribe are in trouble for blocking an ...more
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Feb 23, 18 7:46 AM
1 member liked this comment
I certainly don’t disagree with you that this place being would be safer without Hornstein on the loose. But if in fact those said individuals did aid in him getting away , than the truth will hopefully surface. But I stand by my statement that the Village Police should have just stopped an called the State Police. As well as the uncessary personal snide attacks against the Tribe. Just look at the unhappy angry individuals’ comment below always spreading hate rather than kindness......
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Feb 23, 18 8:06 AM
2 members liked this comment
Whitey Bulger was on the loose murdering people in Boston because the local office of the FBI was protecting him. They thought he would inform on his Mafia connections, instead they enabled him to become a serial assassin. Later, that office spent a lot of effort covering up their involvement with Mr. Bulger and allowed him to escape to Santa Monica, CA. Is Mr. Hornstein an informant for the Southampton Village Police Department undercover detective division?
By dfree (810), hampton bays on Feb 25, 18 8:37 AM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Feb 23, 18 7:53 AM
Some of the nicest and kindest people I know reside on the Shinnecock Reservation. This site isn’t here for u to spread hate Slime. Kindness Matters....Pass it on!

By toes in the water (884), southampton on Feb 23, 18 8:13 AM
*gag*
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Feb 23, 18 11:04 AM
Since forever the Shinnecock Tribe was not Federally recognized, just a State recognition. Now that they are, I wonder if they realize the legal rights they have, beyond the obvious Casino rights. For example, the upstate Haudenosaunee Nations -- the Akweasnes, Onandagas, et al. border on Canada and have a rez that crosses the border. Why not buy pharamaceuticals in Canada and sell those -- to everyone with a valid prescription of course -- to US citizens that would like to pay 50% of the US ...more
By dfree (810), hampton bays on Feb 23, 18 8:10 AM
1 member liked this comment
Interesting idea dfree.
I hope someone looks into it.
By bird (824), Sag Harbor on Feb 23, 18 10:53 AM
The upstate Tribes seem to be going the other way -- for $15 million/year as described below. Doesn't mean a pharmacy based on the Rez, with a electronic prescription from the Dr's office to the Rez and a delivery service off the Rez to the entire Town of Southampton wouldn't be legal -- it could really lower medical costs for all of us.

Wall Street Journal, 2/26/18: The U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board will hear Mylan NV’s challenge of patents on dry-eye treatment Restasis as ...more
By dfree (810), hampton bays on Feb 26, 18 3:30 PM
If I were being chased by a strange looking car with crackhead-looking people inside it, I think I’d drive away pretty darn fast too. And if I had the savvy to run to my good neighbors to evade them, I think I’d do that too. Mr. Gumbs may have just made a case for Mr. Hornstein. Is there a Scott too?
By deepchanel (88), Southampton on Feb 23, 18 2:22 PM
So Chase Quinn who was arrested for shooting into a crowd in Southampton is interfering with a police chase and people are worried about the Police going on the Rez..... Was that his Mom who helped him. I guess if you break the law you can get in a car with a friend who lives on the Rez and hide, or harbor a criminal... For some reason I don’t think the good and honest people in our community would like that....
By guest (68), Bridgehampton on Feb 27, 18 8:15 PM
Instead of a high speed chase through a residential area with no sidewalks and children returning from school how about the chase stops at the gate, a call goes to other village police, or state police, or town police, or county police, or trustees police, or any of the other armed LE agencies in the area to block off the other 2 exits from the Rez, and then arrest the fleeing suspect when they leave and/or the State Police pass through these road blocks and anyone harboring a fugitive gets charged ...more
By dfree (810), hampton bays on Feb 28, 18 1:38 PM
You're absolutely right. Speeding vehicles are too dangerous for the rez.

Please notify the Fire Department and the Ambulance Corp..
By even flow (996), East Hampton on Feb 28, 18 1:49 PM
Did the Village Police have a revolving red light and a siren blaring as they sped through the Rez?
By dfree (810), hampton bays on Feb 28, 18 1:51 PM
1 member liked this comment