Two men facing felony charges following two separate recent incidents in Montauk made a basic mistake, if the account of the East Hampton Town police is accurate: they failed to look up. If they had, they would have seen surveillance cameras, the footage of which led to their arrests, according to the police.
On the night of July 22, Mel McCormack, 39, of Long Island City was arrested on two charges, petit larceny, a misdemeanor, and grand larceny, a felony. According to the police, McCormack was in the Gig Shack on Montauk Main Street when a purse and a cell phone disappeared off the bar where their owners had placed them. The owner of the cell phone happened to be the manager of the establishment. “The man sitting next to us jumped up and yelled that his phone was missing,” the owner of the missing handbag later told police. At that point, she realized that her bag was gone, as well.
“I was off work, and having a drink at the bar,” Arden Gardell Gross, the manager, told police. He immediately went to look at the surveillance video. He spotted what looked like McCormack, who was with a man the manager knew frequented both the Gig Shack and Shagwong, just west of the establishment. Gardell Gross went to Shagwong with the woman, Debra Goldman, whose Calvin Klein bag was missing. They confronted McCormack, and found the missing items in a box nearby. Police quickly arrived and McCormack was placed under arrest.
The grand larceny charge was based on the value of the contents of the bag, which police placed at more than $1000. McCormack posted $1000 bail the next day.
The second man facing charges is Matthew Maughan, of Massapequa Park, who was arrested on July 25 on a felony charge of criminal mischief. According to the police, he was visiting Montauk with some family members and was at the bar in Salivar’s. According to the police complaint, he picked up a paint marker he found on the bar, then went to the bathroom where he defaced “a urinal, an oak partition wall, a toilet paper holder,” then left the bathroom, continuing his alleged graffiti spree.
He wrote on the exterior of the Clam and Chowder House at Salivar’s Dock, police said, defacing some roof shingles, a fish box, and a separate wall of the Clam and Chowder House. The bartender at Salivar’s was able to identify Maughan from video footage from the Chowder House. The bartender was able to name him because Maughan had handed his credit card to the bartender to run a tab that night.
Police contacted Maughan, who turned himself in. When he was interviewed, he reportedly said, “I can’t remember doing any of that . . . I’m sorry about all of this.” He was released on $500 bail.
By T. E. McMorrow