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12 Most Read Stories of 2012

Revisit the most read headlines of this past year. They may surprise you.

2012 was certainly full of news. Among the most read stories were those surrounding some of the most tragic East Hampton Patch reported this year. As we approach a new year, let's take a look back on 2012.

12. DEC Chasing Reports of Possible Jaguar on the Prowl in East Hampton

In September, the State Department of Environmental Conservation investigated several reports of an exotic cat, like a jaguar, on the loose in East Hampton. Environmental Control Officers were called out to a farm at 56 Spring Close Lane on Sept. 9, after "a greyish cat-like creature" about 5-feet long, 2-feet high at the shoulder with a long striped tail eating composting vegetables and meat scraps was reportedly sighted on Sept. 9. No evidence of a jaguar was ever found.

11.

Jeffrey Ahn, 17, of New York City and Amagansett, was killed after a Lindy's Taxi minivan struck him on Old Stone Highway in Amagansett on the afternoon of June 23. Ahn had been walking with a group of friends at the time of the crash. Charges were not filed against the taxi driver — police called it a horrible accident.

10. Police Say Driver Died After East Hampton Village Crash

A head-on crash on Montauk Highway in East Hampton Village on Aug. 9 left one man dead. During our initial story, police did not release the name of the victim — who was later identified as Gregg Saunders, a real estate developer who lived in Sagaponack. The other driver, Benjamin Rechler, 19, was cited for failure to maintain his lane of travel.

9. Cops: Man Missing from Montauk

East Hampton Town police issued a missing persons bulletin on Aug. 29 for George Richardson, a 50 year-old vacationer who has been missing for more than 24 hours. He was last seen at Hartman's Briney Breezes Motel in Montauk, where he was staying with his family during their visit to Montauk. Richardson has never been located.

8. Immigration Officials Nab Actor on His Way to Hamptons Film Festival

In an ironic twist of fate, an actor on his way to the film festival to see a film about his immigration journey was picked up by federal immigration officials. Customs and Border Protection agents took Praq Rado, a 31-year-old Albanian-born actor who has lived in America for 11 years without documentation, into custody on Thursday while he was on board an Amtrak train in Buffalo, the agency confirmed on Oct. 7.

7. Cops ID Victims in Fatal Sunday Crash

A Virginia man was killed in a July 29 accident on Route 114 after the driver of a pickup crossed into his lane, resulting in a head-on crash that sent three others to the hospital. Douglas Foster Schneiderman, of McLean, Va., was 51. Charges filed against the truck driver were later dropped.

6. Cops Nab Anti-Obama Graffitist After 4-Month Investigation

Village police arrested a 63-year-old man is responsible for political graffiti that had been popping up around the village for months. Lawrence G. Nickel, a boat captain from Florida who lives in East Hampton, was charged with one felony criminal mischief count and 12 misdemeanor counts of making graffiti, as well as one count of petty larceny, also a misdemeanor, on Sept. 18.

5. East Hampton Residents Left Without Power

As expected, Hurricane Sandy caused power outages all over the South Fork. East Hampton Patch tried to keep up with the LIPA Power Outages map during and after the storm. At one point, 21,000 customers were without power in the Town of East Hampton.

4.

When Jean Carlos Barrientos heard screams coming from the Atlantic Ocean on June 3, he sprang into action. Barrientos remembered the training he had received in East Hampton's junior lifeguard: He told his friend to call 911 and he grabbed two flotation devices that were handy near the Driftwood Motel on Napeague, where he works as a cabana boy, and headed for the water.

3. Tugboat Captain Identified as Man Found Floating off Montauk

The on May 12 was identified as the captain who went missing from his tugboat off the coast of Rhode Island 11 days earlier. Brendan O'Leary was believed to have fallen overboard the Steven-Scott on April 25, according to the Coast Guard.

2. Police Say Woman Fell Victim to Hurricane

The woman whose body washed up on a local beach on Oct. 31, after the storm, was a victim of Hurricane Sandy. Edith Wright, 52, of Montauk, had been reported missing the night before, just after some of the worst weather Hurricane Sandy brought to the South Fork. The community has since rallied around her two daughters.

1. Former CBS Newsman Killed in Crash

Richard Threlkeld, a 74-year-old television news correspondent who worked for CBS News for 25 years, was killed Jan. 13 when the Mini Cooper he was driving collided with a propane truck in Amagansett on Long Island. Threlkeld had a red light, and police said they believed he suffered a medical episode.

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