By Andrew Wroblewski
Several community groups made their way out to Huntington Station to clean up the streets as a part of the annual Earth Day, spring cleanup. Amidst the spring cleaning, however, one youth group was able to aid police in an arrest.
Suffolk County police confirmed that members of the Second Precinct Explorers – a program for those ages 14-21 that have interest in law enforcement – aided in the arrest of a 33-year-old Melville man who was allegedly in possession of drugs and under the influence in public.
“All of the police advisors are extremely proud of [the Explorers’] performances and their recognition of the situation,” Suffolk County police officer Angela Ferrara, an advisor of the Explorers, said. “The Explorers are trained to pick up on suspicious behavior… but this was something out of the ordinary.”
Upon finishing up the April 19 cleaning, participants were allotted a free slice of pizza and soda from Guiseppe’s Pizza in Huntington Station.
While waiting in line at the pizza parlor, members of the Second Precinct Explorers Michael, Harris and Angel noticed Zachary Nudell in front of them. Nudell drew their attention because he was allegedly slurring his speech and moving erratically, police confirmed.
With their suspicions raised, the Explorers alerted police officers.
When Nudell got behind the wheel of a vehicle parked at the corner of New York Avenue and East 13th Street, the officers stopped and questioned him, police said.
The officers soon arrested Nudell and charged him with unlawful possession of marijuana and public appearance under the influence of narcotics or a drug other than alcohol.
Nudell first appeared in court the next day, but is scheduled to appear again today, Thursday, at Suffolk First District Court in Central Islip with his legal aid.
“In a community where we’re trying to teach the idea of ‘If you see something, say something,’ I was so proud of them,” said Mary Beth Kraese, an executive board member for the Huntington Matters group who witnessed the events.