The homeless man charged with felony assault and attempted robbery in a mugging on Sweezy Avenue in Polish Town Friday morning is being held on $25,000 bail following his arraignment in Riverhead Justice Court this morning.
Monwell Wright, 20, who is already facing a previous charge of possession of stolen property in connection with a Jan. 2 vehicle theft on Osborn Avenue near the railroad tracks, appeared before Justice Allen Smith this morning to face two counts of attempted robbery in the first degree, one count of assault in the second degree and one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Wright and another person approached Ervin Guzman, 26, as Guzman was walking on Sweezy Avenue on his way to work at 6:15 Friday morning. Wright pointed what appeared to be a handgun at Guzman, demanding money, and hit him in the face, head and shoulder with a large rock, according to charges read aloud in court this morning.
Guzman suffered a fractured skull and a laceration over his left eye requiring six stitches, according to the charges.
Wright and his accomplice, described to police by the victim as a black female, fled the scene of the attack on foot, running eastbound on Pulaski Street when a passing vehicle approached.
Wright was arrested at 2:11 p.m. Saturday afternoon on Railroad Avenue. He was in possession of an Airsoft pistol at the time of his arrest, which police said occurred without incident.
While booking the defendant at headquarters, police officers found two Suboxone sublingual films inside a small blue notebook in Wright’s possession, according to charges read aloud in court. Suboxone is a controlled substance used to treat patients addicted to opiate drugs like heroin, morphine or oxycodone. Wright is also charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree.
Police are currently investigating whether Wright was involved in two other crimes that occurred this weekend in the vicinity of the Friday morning mugging on Sweezy Avenue, law enforcement sources said.
At 10 p.m. Friday night a man walking alone on Griffing Avenue was grabbed by two men as he approached the railroad tracks. One of the attackers brandished what appeared to be a handgun. They demanded money and the man with the gun beat the victim with the butt of the gun before fleeing on foot. The victim, a 33-year-old Hispanic male, was treated and released by Peconic Bay Medical Center.
On Saturday morning, police recovered a broken Airsoft pistol on the railroad tracks at the scene of the Friday night attack. Police are investigating whether the plastic gun was used in the attack.
Earlier on Saturday morning, an idling car was stolen from Sweezy Avenue near Pulaski Street. A witness called police to report a suspicious person near the vehicle on Sweezy Avenue moments before its owner reported it missing at 6:30 a.m., according to radio reports.
The slender, soft-spoken Wright was brought into court wearing a rumpled white Tyvek jumpsuit and slippers, hands cuffed behind his back. He told the judge he has been homeless for three years. Prior to that he lived in Riverhead, he said.
He is being held at the Suffolk County Correctional Facility in Riverside in lieu of $25,000 bail. If convicted on all charges, Wright, who was arrested on other charges three separate times in 2013, now faces up to 15 years in a state penitentiary.
Editor’s note: A criminal charge is an accusation. By law, a person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
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