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Shelter Island Police Department blotter: Oct. 27, 2021

Those named in arrest reports or receiving police summonses have not been convicted of a crime. In court, the charges against them may be reduced or withdrawn or the defendants may be found not guilty.


Thomas P. Ritzler, 49, of Shelter Island was arrested on Oct. 24 at 3:15 p.m. and charged with criminal trespass in the 2nd degree — a Class A misdemeanor. Following an investigation, police determined that Mr. Ritzler unlawfully entered a residence on Smith Street. He was processed at police headquarters, released on a desk appearance ticket and was instructed to appear in Shelter Island Justice Court at a later date.


On Oct. 21, George D. Schultheis of Shelter Island told police he was driving south on Rocky Point Road when a deer ran onto the roadway, causing him to swerve and rear-end a trailer attached to a parked Liberty Lawn and Landscape vehicle. There was over $1,000 in damage to the right front of Mr. Schultheis’ vehicle and to the trailer. No injuries were reported.

Hernan A. Murcia of Shelter Island told police he was headed south on West Neck Road on Oct. 24 at about 12:15 a.m. when a deer ran onto the roadway, causing him to swerve onto the north-bound shoulder where he ran into several small shrubs. According to the draft report, there was over $1,000 in damage to the vehicle; there were no injuries. Mr. Murcia was issued a summons by police for aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle in the 3rd degree.

In a minor accident on Oct. 19, Andrea L. Caccese of Manhasset told police she was parked on a North Ferry boat that was less than halfway across the channel when her vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by Cristina Galesi of Sag Harbor. Ms. Galesi said she forgot to put the vehicle into park and when she took her foot off the brake, her vehicle rolled forward and hit the rear of Ms. Caccese’s vehicle. Police were not contacted at the time but the ferry boat’s captain witnessed the accident.

Other reports

Between Oct. 19 and 23, police conducted eight radar enforcement and traffic stops in West Neck and the Center, resulting in four warnings.

Two cases of grand larceny were reported in the Center on Oct. 19. One was a fraudulent bank scam, the other involved several unauthorized withdrawals from the caller’s bank account. On the same day, a West Neck caller notified police of two unauthorized transactions on her credit card — a petit larceny.

In South Ferry, also on the 19th, police warned some people that they might be the target of a package scam and advised them to notify the police department of any further suspicious activity. A caller told police on the 19th that some belongings had been left in front of a Heights store. An officer identified a luggage bag and a purse and left a voicemail message for the owner.

Police were advised on Oct. 21 that the caller had a court order forbidding a person from entering her property without her permission. An officer informed the person that he is not allowed on the property and to refrain from any contact with the caller. He said he understood.

On Oct. 23, police received a complaint from a person in the Heights about being stalked. Police said the allegations were unfounded.

A Shelter Island Fire Department marine rescue unit was dispatched to locate a boat in distress off Hay Beach in response to a request from Southold Police. The boat was found, underway to Safe Harbor marina on one engine.

A caller reported a Longview neighbor having a birthday party on Oct. 24 where children were being loud and noisy. An officer explained that the neighbor had the right to have a birthday party for children on his property and that the noise created by them playing at 3 p.m. on a Sunday was not unreasonable and was not in violation of any law.

In other incidents, police conducted DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) classes for 5th and 6th graders at the Shelter Island School; provided an escort service; jump-started a vehicle; helped a resident in the home; responded to a lost and found case; and completed New York State audit reports.


The Shelter Island Fire Department responded to two smoke alarms on Ram Island on Oct. 20 and 22. One was a false alarm and the second was not an emergency.

A residential alarm in the Center was activated on Oct. 19; the owner, who was on the scene, said the system had been malfunctioning. When an alarm on Ram Island was set off on Oct. 22, an officer gained entry through an unlocked door, searched the premises and found no sign of any criminal activity.

Animal reports

An injured deer in the Center was put down by police. Police informed a HiLo caller about a dead deer impaled on her fence that she should call a private company or her landscaper to have it removed. The Highway Department was notified to remove a dead deer on school property.

Police searched for an injured deer stuck in a fence in Hay Beach and were unable to locate it.

A sick raccoon was reported in the Heights; an animal control officer (ACO) searched the area without success. Two sick raccoons in the Center and one on Ram Island were captured and taken by an ACO to a vet for euthanasia.

A great horned owl was reported alive but lying on a Center driveway. An ACO captured it and transported the owl to the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Center for rehabilitation.

Aided cases

Shelter Island Emergency Medical Services teams transported four people to Eastern Long Island Hospital on Oct. 21, 22, 24 and 25. One person was taken to Southampton Hospital on Oct. 23. EMS teams responded to two people on Oct. 20 and 22, both of whom refused medical attention.