May 24, 2006
This guy really wanted pursuing officers to — ahem! — leaf him alone. Next time he might want to rethink his evasive efforts.
Last Thursday we received news from a different branch of the law enforcement community as Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco reported an unusual arrest right in downtown Riverhead, involving a suspect whom sheriffs treed.
It all started at around noon. Two deputy sheriffs saw Mark Mills walking near West Main Street, allegedly toting an open alcoholic beverage. Cops say that when they asked Mills for ID, he gave them the wrong name and while they were checking it out, the suspect beat feet.
Giving chase, the deputies saw what appeared to be a gun in the waistband of the suspect's pants. Mills ran through the Riverhead Laundry, up Griffing Avenue, then back to apartments on Griffing. Sheriffs credited witnesses with directing them to the proper apartment in the building, where Mills' girlfriend reportedly lives.
By then, however, the sheriffs learned that Mills had run straight through the apartment, climbed out the window, and into a tree.
Perhaps Mills flashed on that scene in Police Academy, in which OJ Simpson is asked to get a kitten out of a tree and does so by shooting it. Or maybe not. Suffice to say, he was apprehended swiftly after officers surrounded the trunk of his getaway vegetation.
It gets worse. Cops say Mills admitted hiding the gun in the apartment, under the baby's mattress in a crib. When police entered the domicile, they say they found a defaced and unloaded .38-caliber handgun right where Mills said. They also found four children ranging in age from four months to 13. So, Mills and role modeling? Perhaps not.
Additional checking of his rap sheet revealed what may have been the, uh, root cause behind the attempt to evade capture. Mills had two outstanding warrants against him as well as what sheriff's described as "a lengthy prior arrest record, including a violent felony arrest for robbery in which a firearm was displayed." As Indy readers know, if you've been convicted of a crime that involves a firearm, you're in real trouble if ever caught with one again. Mills, who is 26 and resides in Bellport, was charged with third degree criminal possession of a weapon, a felony, plus endangering the welfare of a child, resisting arrest, and false personation. He was arraigned Friday morning and remanded in lieu of $25,000 cash bail.