High School Basketball Star Back in East Hampton Court

Michael E. Russell forged signatures to buy sneakers at East Hampton store, village police said.

Michael E. Russell during an alumni basketball game Credit: Michael Heller/File Photo
Michael E. Russell during an alumni basketball game Credit: Michael Heller/File Photo
Former East Hampton High School star basketball player Michael E. Russell, who has been in and out of trouble over the past six years, has found himself back behind bars.

East Hampton Village police arrested Russell, 23, who is out on bail on charges related to an armed home invasion in Massachusetts back in January, after they discovered he used two credit cards that weren't his to purchase three pairs of sneakers and one pair of shoes at Sneakerology on Main Street in East Hampton Village on Sept. 2.

Employees at the store identified Russell as the person who made the purchases, at two separate times on the same day, police said. One of the cards used belonged to Stony Hill Stables in Amagansett and had been assigned to an employee, an acquaintance of Russell's, Chief Jerry Larsen said. The second card was the employee's debit card.

Russell, who lives in East Hampton, was picked up on Oct. 10 on Ocean Parkway at about 11:30 a.m. He was charged with two counts of criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth-degree and one count of forgery in the second-degree, all felonies, as well as petty larceny, a misdemeanor.

Larsen said on Tuesday that police could only verify one of the cardholder's signatures was forged. The petty larceny charge, he said, covers the sneakers purchased, which totaled $557.40.

Russell is being held at the Suffolk County jail in Yapank without bail due to his two-time felony offender status. He is due back in court on Oct. 16.

Russell was out on $5,000 bail in connection to a home invasion in Worcester, MA, in January, back when he was attending Becker College, and playing for the basketball team.

Worcester police said Russell went into an apartment off campus with two other masked men — one of the three men reportedly had a gun — and they demanded money from four Worcester Polytechnic Institute students. Police said one victim fought back, struggling with one of the suspects, and pulled down his mask, and the intruders reportedly fled in a vehicle.

The Worcester Gazette & Telegram reported at the time that Becker College gave him a notice of a “summary suspension” and that he was not allowed on campus pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings.

His legal woes began in 2007, when he was still in high school, playing for his grandfather, famed head coach Ed Petrie, and coming off an undefeated regular season. Along with two other teenagers, 17-year-old Russell was charged with attempting to rob a bicyclist in East Hampton.

A co-captain, he led his team to the state finals in 2008.

Just as he was about to go off to Angelina Junior College in Texas, town police arrested him on felony burglary charges in August 2008. He took a deal, and pleaded guilty to lesser charges, and was sentenced in early 2009 to one year in Suffolk County jail. County jail records show he was released in May, after serving about four months.

In December 2008, he was indicted in New Hampshire, accused of holding a knife to the alleged victim's face in Keene the previous September, 27East reported at that time. According to the report, days before the assault allegedly took place, Russell was picked up in New Hampshire on charges of unlawful possession of alcohol and resisting detention.

The disposition of those cases were not immediately available from the Cheshire County Superior Court, which would only confirm the cases were closed.

Then last January, he was arrested following a large fight outside of East Hampton Bowl during which officers had to use pepper spray and the stun gun portion of their Tasers to subdue the crowd. He was charged with two counts of disorderly conduct, a violation.

Conservative Underground October 15, 2013 at 02:05 PM
You might want to save this as a special file, my guess is you'll be seeing this young man in the news for one crime or another for a very long time.
Christina DeLauro October 16, 2013 at 06:58 AM
What a waste of talent ! This kid COULD have done something with his life. He is just a low level thug and that will never change. Keep an eye out for the upcoming comments from his friends and family who will say it's not his fault, he's a nice guy, stop picking on him. They should have cut that crap years ago and made him be accountable. Maybe he wouldn't be in this mess. He will surely wind up in " big boy " prison for many many years. He's going to learn the hard way that he's not so tough, just stupid !


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