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Shelter Island Police Department blotter: Sept. 19, 2023

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 In court, the charges against them may be reduced or withdrawn or the defendants may be found not guilty.


As a result of an investigation into a complaint about money stolen from a victim’s bank account, Thomas P. Ritzler, 51, Greenport, was arrested on Sept. 12 at 7:39 p.m. and charged with forgery in the 2nd degree, criminal possession of a forged instrument and grand larceny in the 4th degree.

Mr. Ritzler was held overnight at Shelter Island Police Department headquarters and later arraigned in Justice Court where he was released on an appearance ticket and directed to return to court at a later date.


On Sept. 17, Herly G. Ash of Salem, W.Va, told police that while she was driving west on Shore Road, she wasn’t paying attention and hit a pole causing over $1,000 in damage to the right front wheel well of her vehicle. According to the draft report, there were no injuries; the car was towed.

William B. Ricketson, Westport, Mass., said while he was parked on the North Ferry, on Sept. 15, he was rear-ended by Mark W. Feola, Farmingville, causing over $1,000 in damage to the mast of his sailboat that was on a trailer. Mr. Feola said he was directed by a crew member to enter lane 2. He said while driving onto the ferry, the mast of the sailboat was out of his view and the hopper on his cement truck hit the mast. Mr. Ricketson didn’t check the damage before exiting the ferry according to the draft report.

A minor accident was reported by Mary Payne, Shelter Island Post Office, on Sept. 15. She told police Monica Worthington, Shelter Island, drove into the bushes causing minor damage to her front license plate. Ms. Worthington said that while pulling into a parking lot at the Center post office, her foot slipped off the brake.


Radar enforcement and traffic stops were conducted in the Center and the Heights on Sept. 15, 16 and 17; there were no tickets and two warnings.

On Sept. 11, a caller requested documentation of an identity theft. Another caller asked for documentation after being hit in Southold town. The office explained by the language line that the incident was out of Shelter Island’s jurisdiction and arranged for someone to meet the caller at the Greenport Ferry Terminal to get his report.

On Sept. 12, an officer responded to a report of a boat fire off Jessup’s Neck in Southampton. A passing boat retrieved the passengers from the water and they were then transferred to a Shelter Island marine unit which, in turn, transported them to a Southampton Marine Patrol and then to shore.

A loud humming noise in the Center was called in anonymously on Sept. 12; it was caused by a faulty pool pump, which was unplugged by an officer with the owner’s permission. A loud party was reported on the second floor of a Heights residence on the 13th. The music was turned off without incident.

On Sept. 13, a caller asked police to check his West Neck property after he saw, on his security camera, two persons walking around it. An officer responded. The people were gone on arrival and there were no signs of any criminal activity.

Police were alerted to a fraudulent check being issued with an incorrect account number. Also on the 13th, a drone was used to search for an overdue boater. Southold police located the missing person.

On Sept. 14, a Center resident asked for documentation about her shattered glass sliding door on the porch. Also on the 14th, a Ram Island resident reported that unknown individuals had entered the residence and damaged property; police are investigating. A Silver Beach caller told police that someone was operating machinery in a location that is currently under construction. There was concern that items may have been taken. An officer said everything was left at the job site and there were no signs of criminality.

A fallen tree limb in the Center and a tree down in Shorewood on Sept. 15 were creating hazards; police and the Highway Department removed them. Also on the 15th, tenant/landlord dispute in the Center was reported and resolved by police. Police also opened a confidential investigation on this date. Loud music in the Center was reported over a period of several hours but had been turned off when an officer arrived. The caller was advised to call back if the music started up again.

A verbal domestic dispute was reported in Hay Beach on Sept. 15.

Environmental Conservation Law checks were conducted on Sept. 16 at Bootlegger’s Alley and Hay Beach on the 17th. There were no violations; eight people were fishing.

On the 16th, a Center caller asked for assistance in dealing with living arrangements with a tenant. A truck was anonymously reported being driven erratically in the Center at night; an extra patrol was requested.

A caller told police on the 16th an unknown male had knocked on the back door of a Center residence and then had run off. The area was canvassed with negative results. The same night, minutes later, another complainant reported that people were banging on the front door of his Center residence. A police officer used infrared drone capabilities and saw four young people running away. They were located and told to stop knocking on doors. They left without incident.

On Sept. 17, a caller said he was driving north on North Ferry Road when an unknown person was driving erratically south and almost hit his vehicle. The area was searched with no results. A motorcycle was reported being driven at a high rate of speed; an officer located the motorcycle on Ram Island Road, followed it for several minutes and observed no violations.

In other incidents: officers responded to six lost and found reports; performed court duty; assisted three motorists with keys locked in their vehicles; directed traffic for two funerals; and attended rifle training in Westhampton.


A fire alarm on Ram Island on Sept. 12 was set off by construction work on the premises. The Shelter Island Fire Department responded to a fire alarm in Hay Beach on the 12th and a heat sensor alarm in Hay Beach on the 15th. The first was called in because of a smell of gas. The SIFD searched the premises but found no cause. The second alarm was activated accidentally.

A commercial alarm in the Center was set off by mistake on Sept. 13. Police responding to an alarm in the Heights, searched the inside and outside of the residence; there was no sign of any criminal activity.


The animal control officer (ACO) assisted in a search for two missing Center dogs until they returned home on their own. Another missing dog in Silver Beach was located and the owner caller to retrieve it. The ACO recognized two dogs at large in West Neck and Cartwright and advised the owners to pick them up.

A duck with a broken wing in Cartwright was taken by the ACO to a wildlife rehabilitator. A bird unable to fly in the Heights was also transported to a rehabilitator. The ACO captured a sick turkey on a Center roadway and took it to a vet for euthanasia. A turkey in the Center, reported with bird pox, was not located. A badly injured rabbit in the Center was also not found by the ACO.


Shelter Island Emergency Medical Service teams transported three patients to Eastern Long Island Hospital on Sept. 12, 14 and 16. A person refused transport on Sept. 15, and another case on Sept. 11 had no injuries and was not transported to a hospital.