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Suffolk cops: 3 taken into custody in Port Jefferson after burglary call, barricade

Suffolk County police at the scene on Stuyvesant

Suffolk County police at the scene on Stuyvesant Drive between Parnet Court and Parnell Lane in Selden on Thursday morning, Aug. 4, 2016, after a 911 call at about 3:20 a.m. Credit: Ed Betz

Suffolk police took three people who had barricaded themselves inside a Port Jefferson Station home into custody early Thursday in connection with a burglary in Farmingville, police said.

The two men and one woman were taken into custody from the Parnet Court home about 7 a.m. after an hourslong standoff with police that began after an early-morning burglary of a home on Chestnut Street in Farmingville, police said. No one was injured.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini, at a news briefing at police headquarters in Yaphank, declined to acknowledge the link between the burglary and barricade situation, calling it an “active investigation.”

“At this point, I’m not going to comment on how we got to that house, why we set up that barricade, only to say there was an active investigation that led us to this home,” said Sini, who declined to say whether charges had been filed.

But Insp. William Murphy of Suffolk County Police’s Sixth Precinct said the people who barricaded themselves were taken to the precinct’s station house for questioning in connection with the burglary. Two of the suspects had active warrants, said Sini, who would not say whether the three people in the Port Jefferson home lived there.

At least one of the men is believed to have been involved in a home burglary that occurred earlier Thursday morning in Farmingville, Murphy said.

“We don’t know what was stolen from the other location,” Murphy said. “We have to speak with them to see if they are missing anything.”

Police said some of the men were armed, but it was unclear if any weapons were recovered from the Port Jefferson Station home.

A police spokeswoman said officers originally had responded to a 911 call about the Farmingville burglary at 3:21 a.m.

It was not immediately clear how police linked the burglary in Farmingville to the three people in Port Jefferson Station and Sini repeatedly declined to answer questions about how the two might be linked.

Sini said patrol officers first responded to the Parnet Court home about 4:05 a.m. and two people immediately came surrendered to cops and said there was a young child inside. The department’s Emergency Service and Aviation units then descended on the home in an area on Stuyvesant Drive between Parnet Court and Parnell Lane.

A hostage negotiator was brought to the scene and a long-range acoustical device was used to make contact with the people inside, Sini said.

“We were repeatedly requesting them to come out,” said Sini. “They didn’t comply.

Heavily armed cops then made a “slow and deliberate entry into the home,” said Sini and “almost immediately when they entered the home, they encountered a 2-year-old child walking in the hallway.”

An officer got the young boy out of the house, and then cops from the department’s Emergency Services Unit did a room-by-room search, first finding a man in a first-floor bedroom, who complied and was taken into custody, Sini said.

Sini would not say the relationship between the child and the adults taken into custody. He said Child Protective Services were contacted to take custody of the boy.

A man and a woman were found in a second-floor crawl space but they wouldn’t come out, Sini said.

The crawl space was so small that the officers had to take off their vests and he helmets to get inside. Once they did, they “tried to convince them to surrender,” but they wouldn’t, so a third cop broke through the wall at the other end of the space and they were taken into custody. They each had active family court warrants for neglect and criminal contempt, Sini said.

Residents of the tree-lined neighborhood said they were awakened by the sounds of police cars and armored vehicles.

From their windows they could see officers holding up shields, with their pistols and long guns drawn. “They were using a megaphone to yell into the house,” one witness said. “They kept telling the guys to come out.”

Neighbors interviewed declined to give their names, saying they were worried that those involved may retaliate against them for speaking to police or the media.

Two complaints were made about the home in 2011 and 2013 for barking dogs, according to David J. Moran, deputy town attorney in Brookhaven. The house was condemned and boarded up twice by Brookhaven Town between 2011-2014 for health and safety violations.

The owner, Beverly Quinones, remedied the conditions and therefore, the condemnations were lifted, Moran said.

The last complaint was on May 30, 2015 to report dogs in a crate, Moran said. The town’s animal shelter responded and rectified the issue, he said.

When investigators went back out to the house in July 2015, the house was vacant but not secured, Moran said. According to the latest town records, Quinones’ daughter and her children were living in the home, Moran said.

With Gary Dymski

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