Update: 2:20 p.m.: Riverhead Police in a press release this afternoon said the man cut in the fight at Tanger Outlets early Friday morning was an 18-year-old male and was one of “several subjects” involved in a physical altercation prior to police being called to the scene.

Police found the victim bleeding from cuts to his face and abdomen when they responded at about 1:50 a.m.

“The altercation is believed to be in relation to a prior incident that occurred outside the Riverhead area,” police said. “The incident does not appear to have anything to do with the Tanger Outlets other than the subjects involved happened upon one another at that location,” police said in the press release.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call the Riverhead Police detective division at 631-727-4500 ext. 328.

Original story:

A man was stabbed during a fight at Tanger Outlets early Friday morning — but the incident was not related to the stress of crowded holiday shopping or an argument over sales, according to Riverhead Police.

“It was a case of people from out of town who had a beef with each other and brought it here,” Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller said.

“It started in Old Navy and ended up in Lids,” he said, referring to two of the factory outlet stores at the Riverhead shopping complex, which drew thousands of shoppers on Thanksgiving night. Hegermiller said the fight erupted around 1:30 or 2 this morning, near the outlet mall’s closing time. Tanger opened at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving night and remained open until 2. It reopened at 6 a.m. today.

The two men involved in the incident, both from the Mastic area, knew each other, Hegermiller said. The victim was cut in his torso and face and taken by Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps to Peconic Bay Medical Center for treatment.

The victim is not cooperating with police, Hegermiller said. As a result, no charges have yet been filed against the suspect. The chief did not identify either man.

“We’re doing everything we can to charge him,” the chief said, adding, “We’re still investigating.”

Police had a big presence at the outlet center for its “Gray Thursday” opening. There were two Riverhead Police sergeants and 11 officers at the outlet center as well as state police troopers, Hegermiller said.

“The place was packed,” he said. Tanger’s parking fields quickly filled up and, as in past years, shoppers were parked at Riverhead Raceway and taken to the mall via Hampton Jitney shuttle buses.

There were no other incidents of violence at the outlet center or anywhere else during the Thanksgiving night sales at the numerous national retailers along Route 58, Hegermiller said.

The survival of local journalism depends on your support.
We are a small family-owned operation. You rely on us to stay informed, and we depend on you to make our work possible. Just a few dollars can help us continue to bring this important service to our community.
Support RiverheadLOCAL today.

Avatar photo
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.