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Three charged in 7-Eleven cigarette dispute, Suffolk police say

This composite photo shows, from left, Oscar Madrid,

This composite photo shows, from left, Oscar Madrid, 18, Hector Gonzalez, 26, and Timothy Flythe, 18, all of Huntington Station. The three men were arrested and charged with a series of crimes after they threatened to kill a 711 clerk over cigarettes. Credit: SCPD

A failed attempt to buy cigarettes at a Melville 7-Eleven escalated Tuesday into a threat to kill the clerk and ended with the arrests of three Huntington Station men, Suffolk police said.

Two guns also were seized from one of the suspects, police said.

About 11:05 a.m., a clerk at the store, at 837 Walt Whitman Rd., refused to sell cigarettes to Hector Gonzalez, 26, because he did not have proper identification, police said. It’s illegal for people under 21 to buy cigarettes in Suffolk County.

After going to his car, Gonzalez returned with Oscar Madrid and Timothy Flythe, both 18, as well as what appeared to be a gun in his waistband, police said.

Gonzalez threatened the 7-Eleven clerk, and when the employee wrote down the license plate of the car, Madrid snatched the note out of the clerk’s hand, police said.

They jumped into a car driven by Gonzalez’s mother, police said. A Melville Fire Department paramedic who was listening to the police scanner saw the suspects’ vehicle and notified police of the location, authorities said.

The car was pulled over by First Precinct officers near Route 110 and Route 109 in Farmingdale just before 11:20 a.m., police said.

In the car, officers found two loaded handguns that Flythe illegally possessed, police said.

Gonzalez, of Third Avenue, was charged with second-degree menacing; there was also a warrant for his arrest on aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle, police said.

Flythe, 18, of Pulaski Road, was charged with two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Madrid, of Tenth Street, was charged with fourth-degree grand larceny for taking the clerk’s note, police said.

The three men were held overnight at the Second Precinct to be arraigned Wednesday.

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