Riverhead woman dead, vessel operator charged with BWI

Mattituck Boat Fatality




Boat Fatality in Mattituck

Kelley Blanchard of Riverhead, 27, was killed and three others seriously injured when a powerboat they were on crashed into a bulkhead near the entrance to James Creek in Mattituck on Sunday night, November 10, just after 9 PM.

Two of boaters were brought to Peconic Bay Medical Center by ambulance, while the other two were airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital.

Blanchard, who was on board with Megan Blanchard and Nick Soullas, was pronounced dead at the hospital. The boat’s captain, Frank Distefano, 48, of East Northport was charged with boating while intoxicated. He will be arraigned at a later date.

Robbed At Knifepoint

A Riverhead man standing in front of his own house was threatened with a knife, beaten, and robbed on Thursday, November 7.

Riverhead Town Police moved quickly to apprehend the suspects, both of whom were still in police custody as of press time amid indications at least one might be in trouble with immigration officials.

The victim told police he was standing near Third Street when two men accosted him, flashed a knife, and struck him in the head, demanding money and property. The assailants took cash and a cell phone and fled on foot.

Responding officers interviewed the alleged victim and obtained descriptions of the men; both suspects were subsequently spotted and taken into custody.

The duo was identified as Victorino Reynosa, 31, of Sag Harbor and Wilber Estuardo Garrido Veliz of Riverhead, who police said was 31 but court papers indicated was 34. Both were hit with a charge of first-degreee robbery, a felony. Reynosa was additionally charged with one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. Both men were processed and held for morning arraignment.

Bail on Reynosa was set at $7500; bail on Veliz was set at $15,000. Veliz has at least one prior conviction on a misdemeanor charge of DWI out of Southampton, according to police records, which may draw the attention of U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents to the case.

Sailboat Vanished

A Maspeth man drove to Greenport November 1 to check out his sailboat only to discover it had vanished without a trace. Southold Town Police said a 1968 Irwin Sloop sailboat was missing from its mooring in Pipes Cove Basin, near Sixth Street in Greenport. The owner was not identified, but he notified bay constables in Shelter Island and Southampton about the matter. Neither had received any indication that a boat was unaccounted for. They advised the man to contact local salvage companies but, once again, that proved futile.

Southold Police logged one DWI arrest over the last reporting period. Jean Bernard Laurent, 36, of Commack was arrested Thursday, November 7, around 5:45 PM for driving while intoxicated on Route 48 in Cutchogue near Depot Lane. Laurent was initially stopped for speeding but police said they ascertained he had been drinking excessively and he was taken into custody and held for arraignment.

rmurphy@indyeastend.com
T.E. McMorrow and Bridget LeRoy contributed to this article.