Police search for assault and robbery suspects in Riverhead

NJ Burkett with the exclusive story from Riverhead, Suffolk County.
April 18, 2014 4:17:42 PM PDT
Police in Suffolk County are looking for the suspects involved in an assault and robbery of a man near the train tracks in Riverhead.

Police said on Sunday around 12:45 p.m. the suspects robbed Andres Hernandez on Osborne Avenue near the LIRR tracks. He was then dragged to an area west of the tracks and physically assaulted.

Hernandez, of Riverhead, was brutally beaten by two men using fists and sticks, leaving him hospitalized for five days. Hernandez, an immigrant, was hit across the face and his skull was fractured. The attackers also took $400.

He said he staggered along the main road to a service station and a cashier called police.

Hernandez is the latest young or middle-aged Hispanic men to be attacked -- and in some cases, robbed -- in recent months. There have been at least five such assaults in the downtown Riverhead area since January. Police said they think some of these might be related.

People in the area said on Friday that they were appalled. "I'm outraged by it ? absolutely!" said one local.

Experts said immigrant workers like Hernandez are easy targets for thieves because they often carry cash, and frequently, if their immigration status is questionable, they are less likely to report a crime.

The suspects in the incident Sunday are described as black men in their mid 30's with a medium build and short black hair. One was wearing all black and the other was said to be wearing a white shirt and jeans.

Suffolk County Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest. Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS or call the Riverhead Police Department at 631-727-4500 Ext. 289. All calls will be kept confidential.

Police are still looking for the suspects in the case.