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Crimes Nearby: Driver Arrested in Riverhead Fatal Hit-and-Run

Also: Suffolk County SPCA charges woman for allegedly abusing two pit bull puppies.

RIVERHEAD

• An Amityville woman was arrested on animal cruelty charges this week after allegedly dumping two abused puppies in Riverhead.

One of the puppies has since died. "He had to be kept on intravenous fluids because he was too weak to eat, but, unfortunately, he did not survive," Suffolk County SPCA Chief Roy Gross said.

Swaneka P.J. Danzler, 21, the owner of the puppies, reportedly admitted to SPCA officers that she dumped the puppies at the Riverhead Animal Hospital on Dec. 18.  According to the SPCA, Danzler told officials that she believed the veterinary hospital was open 24/7 and that's why she left the dogs there.

• After a pedestrian was struck and killed in a hit-and-run on East Main Street in downtown Riverhead late last week, police said on Wednesday that a Middle Island man was driving the car that killed Brookhaven resident Scott Wayte on the night he was celebrating his 50th birthday.

Joseph D. Plummer, 48, was arrested on Wednesday after an investigation led to the location of the vehicle involved in the accident, a 1999 Saturn, police said; the vehicle was located at Plummer's address and seized as evidence.

Plummer surrendered to authorities and was charged with leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident after a death, a felony under New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law.

• A couple leaving the Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center was robbed at knifepoint on Saturday afternoon, police said.

According to Riverhead police, the robbery took place near the Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center parking lot on Ostrander Avenue at 4:11 p.m.

The couple reported being robbed at knifepoint by a man who approached them on a bicycle as they walked from the aquarium north to the parking lot.


WESTHAMPTON-HAMPTON BAYS 

• Jason Bergami, 37, of Center Moriches, was arrested by Southampton Town police on Dec. 21 on nine felony grand larceny counts and eight counts of criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree after police said he used his employer’s account numbers to make several purchases, and proceeded to pawn the items he bought at various locations.

Police reports state that Bergami pawned the items on seven different occasions, in the course stealing from Riverhead Building Supply in Hampton Bays, which employed him at the time.

NORTH FORK 

• Chris Hugo Lopez, 23, of Brooklyn, was charged with third-degree grand larceny, a felony, on Dec. 28 after an investigation by Southold Town police detectives of an August incident involving an alleged scam of over $4,500 from an elderly Mattituck woman. Lopez was one of three men who received payment in advance to do chimney repairs, and then absconded with the money, according to police. More arrests are pending in this case, and investigators believe the perpetrators are involved in a number of similar incidents throughout Suffolk County, police said. Lopez was held without bail pending arraignment in the Southold Town Justice Court. Police are asking anyone who has experienced any similar incidents to contact the Southold Town Police Department Detective Division at 631-765-2600.

• After two Mattituck women were arrested earlier this month on charges of stealing delivered packages off the porches of Aquebogue residents, Southold Town police reported on Dec. 30 that stolen property has been returned to 33 more individuals from Laurel to Orient in Southold Town. This will most likely results in 33 counts of misdemeanor larceny charges, police said. The investigation is still active and charges are pending. A number of unclaimed items are still being held. If you feel you may have been a victim and are missing property, please contact Southold Town Police Detective Harned at 631-765-2974.

• Esteban De Jesus Perez Bran, 30, of Greenport, was arrested and charged with second-degree assault, a felony, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a misdemeanor, on Dec. 30 at 11:19 p.m., after police responded to a disturbance at a Center Street residence in the village. Police said the defendant cut a 25-year-old man in the face with a broken beer bottle. The victim was transported to Eastern Long Island Hospital where he was treated for multiple lacerations.

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