Glen Cove man faces illegal-guns charges
A Glen Cove audiologist is under the gun after police say they found several illegal weapons and ammunition in his burning home.
Frederick Ruffen, 63, was arrested Thursday and scheduled for arraignment today on felony charges of possessing two assault rifles, six unlicensed pistols and a 50-round magazine. He's also charged with a misdemeanor for having a firearm under legal length.
They were among 60 legal weapons responders found early Tuesday in his Ford Street home - after rescuing an unconscious 19-year-old woman. Law-enforcement databases show none of the guns had been stolen or used in crimes, police Chief William Whitton said. Still, he called it a dangerous situation.
Ruffen did not return a call to his audiology office. Whitton said the suspect collected vintage weapons.
"There were M-16s," said Joe Pietrafesa, a Vietnam veteran who lives across the street and saw officers hauling out the arms.
The 5:15 a.m. blaze, which began in a ground-floor kitchen, does not appear suspicious, officials said. Six other occupants, including Ruffen, made it out with minor injuries.
But the 19-year-old woman, whose name was not released, remained on a bedroom floor when Glen Cove firefighter Patrick Peet arrived in street clothes from his nearby home. Peet, without his gear and overcome by the smoke, was forced to yield to the next responding firefighters, Lt. Justin Valeo and Al Shakal. Those two men, wearing respiratory equipment, guided the woman out a window.
"Every time I tried standing her up I couldn't breathe," Peet said Thursday.
Assistant EMS Chief Thomas Kenary Jr. performed CPR on the woman before she was taken to Glen Cove Hospital, stabilized, and moved to Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow.
She remained there Thursday for treatment of smoke inhalation, Fire Chief Anthony Tripp said.
Glen Cove building officials are looking into whether the home was split into three units for possible code violations.