Rasheeda Brown receives oxygen in the back of a police vehicle after she was taken into custody initially on Sept. 17. Photo: Peter Blasl

The Riverhead woman who police say stole two vehicles, led officers from three police departments on car chases that ended in crashes, and then escaped from police custody at the hospital is facing a slew of charges that will be presented to a Suffolk County Grand Jury this week, according to New York State Police.

Rasheeda Brown Photo: N.Y. State Police handout
Rasheeda Brown

Photo: N.Y. State Police handout

Rasheeda E.Brown, 30, is being held in lieu of bail at the Suffolk County Correctional Facility in Riverside following her arraignment on charges brought by Southampton Town Police relating to the initial auto theft and chase that began in Southampton on Saturday morning, New York State Police Capt. William Hulse said today.

There are a lot more to follow, Hulse said.

“There are so many charges, we couldn’t finish processing her in time for arraignment in Southampton Town court yesterday,” Hulse said, “so we’ll be going through the D.A.’s office directly to the grand jury for charges in criminal court, where she would be tried anyway.”

According to police, Brown stole a vehicle in Southampton and then led police on a chase through three towns, causing multiple accidents along the way. The chase ended when she crashed into a state trooper’s vehicle in a crosswalk in the Home Depot parking lot. Complaining of chest pains, she was brought to Peconic Bay Medical Center, where she subsequently escaped from Southampton Town Police custody and then, while still in handcuffs, “forcibly stole” another vehicle in front of T.J. Maxx, according to police.

The second stolen vehicle, parked outside T.J. Maxx, was occupied by a 14-year-old girl when Brown jumped in and took off, Hulse confirmed. The girl was able to get out of the car before Brown sped off, he said. Brown left the scene and was later spotted by police who were canvassing the area on Mill Road in Riverhead, about a mile north of Route 58.

Photo: Peter Blasl
Brown’s second crash on Route 58 closed the busy thoroughfare to traffic on a busy Saturday afternoon, snarling traffic for hours.Photo: Peter Blasl

Hulse said Brown went to the home of Wallace M. Conklin Jr., 47, at 727 Mill Road, where her handcuffs were cut off with a hacksaw.  After leaving his home in the vehicle she stole from the TJ Maxx parking lot, Brown fled police again, and this time struck a trailer carrying a jet-ski that was being towed by a Jeep Wrangler on Route 58, according to police. Following that crash, Brown attempted to forcibly steal the Jeep, troopers said.

Brown was eventually transported to the State Police Riverside barracks where she was processed and held for arraignment yesterday morning in Southampton Town Justice Court. Multiple Penal law and Vehicle and Traffic Law charges are pending, state police said.

State Police vehicles outside the home oat 727 Mill Road, where police said Brown had her handcuffs removed with a hacksaw Saturday during a police pursuit. Police executed a search warrant at the home early Sunday morning. Photo: Peter Blasl
State Police vehicles outside the home oat 727 Mill Road, where police said Brown had her handcuffs removed with a hacksaw Saturday during a police pursuit. Police executed a search warrant at the home early Sunday morning. Photo: Peter Blasl

As a result of a follow-up investigation, Conklin was charged with criminal facilitation in the fourth degree, conspiracy in the fifth degree, and hindering prosecution in the third degree. He was released on an appearance ticket returnable on Sept. 28 in Riverhead Justice Court, according to state police.

Brown’s wife Tanya Brown, 32, of Riverhead, was arrested and charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree and was scheduled to be arraigned in Riverhead Justice Court this morning, state police said.

Tanya Brown was in possession of a purse that belonged to one of the auto theft victims and was carrying inside the purse credit cards, bank cards and other cards bearing multiple identities, Hulse said. The cards were in the names of five to 10 different people, he said.

Hulse said all charges brought by both the town and state police departments would be presented to the grand jury together. Felony charges are tried in county criminal court anyway, even though a defendant’s initial arraignment may take place in a town justice court, he noted.


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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Denise Civiletti
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.