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Cops: Fishermen catch man slashing tires

Two commercial fishermen who found their vehicle tires slashed after the previous day's work decided Sunday to try for another type of catch, Southampton Town police said.

That's how Peter Haskell and Michael Mason reeled in John Lombardi, 60, of Flanders, police said.

Haskell and Mason, while hiding behind some bushes, spotted Lombardi slashing two truck tires at the Point Road boat ramp in Flanders on Sunday, police said.

Lombardi, charged with third-degree criminal mischief, later told police there were "turf wars" among local commercial fisherman, police said. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Haskell, of Flanders, and Mason, of Hampton Bays, told police they saw Lombardi about 7:30 p.m. Sunday peeking into Mason's truck. Lombardi saw horseshoe crabs in the truck, then cut into two tires with a knife, they told police.

The fishermen then held onto Lombardi until police arrived.

Haskell and Mason became suspicious Saturday when they each found two tires on their vehicles slashed, police said.

Haskell, who had been on the water from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, found the tires wrecked on his vehicle, parked at Point Road. Mason had parked his truck on Red Creek Road in Hampton Bays, and when he returned about 10 p.m. Saturday found two torn tires.

Detectives are investigating those cases.

Lombardi was arraigned on the felony charge Monday and released after posting a $500 bail.

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