Parking-ticket spat ends in 'threat' arrest
A disabled man bickering at Huntington Town Hall over a handicapped-parking ticket threatened to return to kill himself and others, Suffolk County police said in announcing his arrest Saturday.
The man, Robert Murphy, 55, is to be arraigned Sunday on a felony charge of making a terroristic threat in Wednesday's incident, police said.
Murphy allegedly vowed to "Come back, kill some people, and then kill myself," said Det. Sgt. John O'Sullivan, a supervisor of the Huntington-based Second Squad detectives, who investigated the case.
On Wednesday, Murphy had allegedly been contesting the ticket, issued as part of a program that tasks volunteers with photographing vehicles that appear to be illegally parked in spots reserved for the handicapped. (It wasn't clear whether Murphy had a handicapped parking permit, but Murphy told police during arrest booking that he is unemployed and receives government disability payments, O'Sullivan said.)
As an "irate" Murphy left Town Hall, a female employee outside who wasn't involved in the dispute overheard the yelled remark, and police were called.
Murphy was arrested early yesterday. Police said they seized a .45-caliber rifle from Murphy's home and took him for a mental health evaluation at Stony Brook University Hospital. He was released and is back in police custody for court today. The gun remains held by police.
For the purpose of sustaining the criminal charge, O'Sullivan said, it's irrelevant whether Murphy actually intended to hurt anyone.