Parking-ticket spat ends in 'threat' arrest

Huntington Town Hall Huntington Town Hall Photo Credit: Alexi Knock

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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.

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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.

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For the purpose of sustaining the criminal charge, O'Sullivan said, it's irrelevant whether Murphy actually intended to hurt anyone.

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