Written by Margaret Whitely Friday, 10 September 2010 00:00
At the last Williston Park Village meeting, Third Precinct Inspector Kevin Canavan and Deputy Inspector Sean McCarthy were present to explain some of the details of the recent drug arrest in Williston Park.
Inspector Canavan introduced himself to the audience. He said he has been a police officer for the last 26 years and has been with the Third Precinct for the last year and a half and that he has worked with Deputy Inspector McCarthy since they both graduated from the academy.
He said, “Overall crime in the district has been down in the last year by a little over two percent. Except for the specific incident at Auto Spa, which Deputy Inspector McCarthy will speak about, but everything in the district has been fairly quiet. We do have some quality of life issues but basically we have a little different approach in this precinct than the prior administration in the Third Precinct.
“We are very hands on, prior to us we had a couple of inspectors, who have moved on, who had a little bit different approach. We like to come out and get into the community. Because of this I want to give you my cell phone which is 573-6341, for those who might want to speak to me personally.”
“Prior to this meeting, we also had the mayor of a surrounding community join us at our meeting with Williston Park Mayor Paul Ehrbar and the village board, and we spoke about how we are going to address the kids in the village by providing them some alternative places for them to ‘hang out’ and we have a plan on how we are going to handle that.
“If there is anything that anyone would like to address, please do so. Somethings we can talk about, some things we can’t, but in terms of philosophy of what we are doing, we would like to hear what you have to say.”
One resident said, “I would like to point out something that was brought to my attention. It’s a beverage called 4-LOKO, it is a juice drink, but it has 12 percent alcohol in it and the bottle looks like an Arizona Ice Tea bottle. Teenagers, I have been told, like it, especially young girls, because they don’t like beer. However, the storeowner told me that if a young girl drinks two of those drinks, she is then “finished!” It was also brought to my attention this week that a young girl had to be removed from the Nassau Coliseum because she had consumed two of this drink. I just want the community to be aware of this crazy drink.”
Inspector Canavan said, “that after he spoke to the resident, prior to the meeting, he sent a message to his undercover unit and they are going to be aggressively looking into the drink and to who sells it.
Another resident wanted to know what exactly happened at the Auto Spa, the scene of the drug arrest.
Inspector Canavan then turned the meeting over to Deputy Inspector Sean McCarthy, who said he was pretty much on the scene from start to finish.
McCarthy said, “Please respect the fact, because this is an ongoing case I can’t share everything with you, but on Aug. 5 at just about lunchtime it came to our attention that a package of interest was going to be delivered to Auto Spa, in Williston Park.
“We were able to control the situation as we waited for the package to be delivered. At some point, after the package was delivered narcotics detectives were able to perform a couple of arrests. However, two individuals jumped into a high-end Mercedes and threw it in reverse and tried to back out and run over detectives. They backed out and went forward a couple of times, but one of the detectives, who was at risk, was able to jump out of the vehicle as they were taking off and was able to fire two shots into the vehicle, both of which hit the Mercedes. No injuries were sustained by either the bad guys or good guys or bystanders.”
He continued, “There was no pursuit of vehicles through the streets of Williston Park, what did happen was there was a vehicle nearby they intended to switch into but they jumped out of that car and because of the feedback we received from residents in both Williston Park and Albertson, we were able to track these individuals’ routes as they ran through backyards and we were able to apprehend them, without incident, shortly thereafter.
“All in all, there were lots of uniformed police, undercover units and police dogs on the scene. I have not seen that many police at an arrest in a very long time.”
Deputy Inspector McCarthy added, “I just wanted to say that Auto Spa is not a bad place. They have a bad employee, but nothing implicates the Auto Spa. That’s about it, the cooperation from the neighborhood was great. We had 27 911 calls and I listened to all of them. The people were very patient and we appreciate all of that.”
When asked what the package contained he said, “The package was in kilogram form and that is about as specific as I can get. There were multiple packages delivered to that location and one package was of interest and that package was recovered in the search.”
Mayor Ehrbar said, “When Inspector Canavan first came here he met with the residents of Herricks, regarding a series of break-ins and he was so hands-on. He was ‘out there’ in control of everything. In fact, I was in Texas when this incident occurred, and he kept me posted and when it was all over, I received a call from Inspector Canavan reporting that all went well and that the perpetrators had been captured. So I think we all should give them a round of applause for all they have done for Williston Park and for the precinct.”
The owners of Ralph’s Ices, located on Willis Avenue, Albertson requested a move to 127 Hillside Avenue, Williston Park, since they have lost their lease on Willis Avenue and further, the parking in that location is very limited.
They established that store would be open seven days a week, on Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 10:30 to 11 p.m.
Most of their personnel are young high school students from Herricks, Wheatley High and Mineola High School.
They are a seasonal business and will close in October to reopen in the spring.
Deliveries are to the premises on two days either at noon or 2 p.m. Plus paper goods will be delivered every two weeks on a Friday about 5 p.m.
It was established that there was ample space for parking and they all came to an agreement as to how the garbage would be disposed.
Only one resident was apprehensive because he said he thought that perhaps the kids would now congregate at the Cross Street School that is closed.
The owners established that they would keep a sharp eye on that and as well as those leaving the store and would urge them to properly dispose of their empty ice containers.
The board ended the hearing and Mayor Ehrbar said that the information would have to be sent to the Nassau Planning Board and they would probably get back to the village in about four weeks.
The last person to speak was Evelyn Atanas, who owns a real estate office in the vicinity of the proposed store and she said, “I’m 200 percent in favor of this application. These two are wonderful people and will make excellent neighbors.”
The meeting closed, but not before Mayor Ehrbar announced that the next meeting would be held on Sept. 27 instead of the regularly scheduled meeting on Sept. 20 at Williston Park Village Hall.