July 19, 2006

Brutal Brawl At Southampton Party

Last Thursday, a riot erupted at Andrew Alessandrini's house party in Southampton, resulting in the hospitalization of eight injured teens. The Southampton Town Police received a call at 10:56 p.m. from Alessandrini's mother, who was present at the time of the incident. Officials were swiftly dispatched to 22 Turtle Pond Road, where the hostility persisted. The situation was difficult for the youths to control as people were strewn throughout the house's interior, front yard, back yard and adjacent woods.

The altercation ensued when approximately 30 uninvited guests arrived at the festivities armed with bats, sticks, wood planks and bricks. A brief investigation suggests that the violence was orchestrated by a group of locals, who were allegedly banned from a different party in the neighborhood on the previous evening. Revenge is a likely motive in the debacle, but details surrounding the crime remain unclear. One party guest explained, "The people who pissed these guys off were not even at Andrew's party." Alessandrini was hosting a farewell get-together for friends, because his house was recently sold.

Southampton cops were eager to qualify local gossip. Many surmise that the melee was a hate crime since the host of the party was white and the defendants were black. Sergeant John James remarked, "Rumors are out there that it was racially motivated. We are trying to filter fact from rumor." According to James, the party was a "mixed bag" — its attendees were multi-racial. "Some of the people injured were people of color," he said. Officials believe this evidence undermines the presumption that the brawl was motivated by racial dissension.

An exact headcount of those present remains unlikely, since many apparently fled (aggressors and revelers alike) prior to the arrival of law enforcement. Four assailants, however, were still on the premises when the cops pulled in. Shakeem Davis, 16, one of four young men implicated in the pending rape case of a 15-year-old Sag Harbor girl, Christopher Jenkins, also 16, and Dwane Allen, 19, were arrested and charged with felonies. Their compatriot, Robert Riddick, 16, was given a misdemeanor. Sergeant James said the suspects have been "less than cooperative."

According to reports, the four assailants accosted two innocents attempting to vacate the area. A driver was dragged from his get-away car and brutally beaten. The Land Rover's tires were slashed and the windshield broken. Both of the vehicle's occupants were included in the tally of teens transported to Southampton hospital. The injuries treated at the medical center include contusions and lacerations. One victim suffered a broken jaw and another required stitches above the eye. Locals from Southampton privy to the crime claim one victim's face was "slashed to the bone."

A friend of the wounded said the mob showed little mercy, when they mauled "the smallest kid there." Those who shared their accounts of the beatings wished to remain anonymous. Many seem frightened of the episode's repercussions. Southampton Town Police are continuing their investigation and have taken precautionary measures, such as increasing patrols over the weekend, to prevent any further violence.

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