Off-duty police officers in this area are never really off-duty and they seem to be in the right place at the right time... unless you are a criminal.
The ongoing economic crisis has shown a rise in burglaries related to the growing heroin problem on Long Island. Several incidents have occurred in January and February in Sea Cliff, Glen Head and Glen Cove that were all put to an end by off-duty Glen Cove Police Officers.
A string of burglaries was solved as a result of the efforts of Officer Brian Glennon and a Glen Cove crime was thwarted in the act by Police Chief William Whitton.
"This is all good news. All of these guys have priors and it's better to get these guys off the streets," Glen Cove Detective Lieutenant Tom Fitzpatick told the Record Pilot.
Two Glen Cove men were arrested recently in Sea Cliff when an off-duty Glen Cove police officer noticed them engaging in suspicious activity while he was out walking his dog.
Detective Sergeant William Kaul of the Nassau County Police Department told the Record Pilot that Officer Brian Glennon was out with his dog on Shore Road and Carpenter Avenue. Officer Glennon noticed a man whom he had actually previously arrested in Glen Cove and another man.
Det. Sgt. Kaul said that one jumped a fence and was appearing behind different houses while the other was driving around the area suspiciously.
"Glennon was familiar with the individuals and knew what they were up to," Det. Sgt. Kaul said. "So he called for assistance and the Nassau County 6th Squad responded."
The suspects were apprehended and taken to the 6th Squad Detective Unit where an investigation resulted in their arrests.
Det. Sgt. Kaul said they were found to be in possession of heroin, a dangerous weapon (a dagger), burglary tools and stolen property.
Douglas Cardenas, 39, both of Glen Clove and Wess Wiencierz, 44, were charged in connection with several recent burglaries on the North Shore that took place in January and February. These included one on Reynolds Road in Glen Cove and three in Glen Head on Waverly Street, Bryant Road and Cleveland Avenue.
The men are being held at Nassau County Correctional Facilities, awaiting trial.
Nassau County Presiding Officer Diane Yatauro of Glen Cove heard about Officer Glennon's good work while off-duty and told the Record Pilot, "It is indeed an honor to recognize police officer Glennon. His courage and dedication makes us extremely proud. All of Glen Cove is grateful for his heroism."
Of all the lockers to break into.
Glen Cove Police Chief William Whitton was recently at the YMCA, where he is a member. He had put his wallet and other belongings in a locker on the lower level of the building while he exercised. The chief left the building to go jogging. When he got back from his jog, Chief Whitton returned to the locker room to find a man going through his locker. This was the afternoon of Saturday, Feb. 28.
Chief Whitton said he confronted the man, identified himself as a police officer, and asked him what he was doing in his locker. The man ran out toward the hallway leading to the exit.
The chief ran after the man, catching up to him at the end of the hallway, and then a struggle ensued. The two men fell into a plate glass window, smashing it, and then the struggle went to the ground.
While on the ground, the man actually pulled Chief Whitton's wallet out of his waist band. He said that he would give the wallet back if he was allowed to go free.
At this point several members of the YMCA arrived and helped keep the suspect down on the ground. The Glen Cove Police were called by YMCA staff and shortly after Police Officers Milanese and J. Grella arrived and took the suspect into custody.
The man was then taken to Glen Cove Hospital for treatment of heroin withdrawals and then released back into police custody that same day.
Police said that the suspect was identified as 42-year-old Craig Demeo from Queens. He is not a member of the YMCA but got in through a side door.
Mr. Demeo was charged with Burglary, Grand Larceny, Criminal Mischief, and Resisting Arrest. He has nine previous arrests in which he has been charged with 23 felonies over his adult life.