By Danny Schrafel
Second Precinct officers have increased their efforts to prevent crime in a pocket of Huntington Station following complaints from residents.
This comes after three men were arrested Feb. 15 after they allegedly trespassed in the parking lot of a Huntington Station CVS store.
Vernon Allen, 34, and Tracy Burke, 21, were charged with trespassing and criminal possession of marijuana in a public place. They allegedly were told to leave the lot, located at 111 Depot Road, at 4:44 p.m. but refused.
Also charged was 42-year-old Kareem Taitt, of Bay Shore, who, in addition to trespassing and pot charges, faces a count of DUI-drugs after he allegedly took to the wheel of a 2001 Ford Expedition under the influence, along with other charges.
Taitt was held on $2,500 bail and $5,000 bond, and is due back in court Thursday. Burke was released on his own recognizance. Both men are represented by Legal Aid counsel. Court information for Allen wasn’t immediately available.
The store is situated in the heart of what some Huntington Station community activists have dubbed “the five corners,” named for its five-point intersection.
A police spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday that officers have stepped up enforcement in that area “due to community concerns of loitering and associated actions,” including open-air drinking, public urination and aided cases tied to excessive drinking.
“We will continue to respond to these concerns,” the spokesperson added.
CVS/Caremark spokesperson Michael DeAngelis said Wednesday the business is one of several in the area struggling with the issue, and is working closely with police. Most of the loitering, he said, appears to occur in the early morning, when day laborers are waiting to be picked up for jobs.
“We have posted bilingual signs in our parking lot that loitering is not allowed and we contact the police regularly when loiterers trespass on our store property in order to have them removed,” DeAngelis said. “Unfortunately, when loiterers congregate on the public sidewalks that are adjacent to our store we have no ability to remove them.”