Long Island man chased down, assaulted 13-year-old after 'knock and run' prank: Police

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Saturday, March 5, 2022
Man chased down, assaulted teen after 'knock and run' prank: Police
A Long Island man is facing charges after police say he chased down and assaulted a teenager who played a "knock and run" prank. Kristin Thorne reports from Suffolk County with the

WEST BABYLON, Suffolk County (WABC) -- A Long Island man is facing charges after police say he chased down and assaulted a teenager who played a "knock and run" prank.

It happened just before 6 p.m. Wednesday, when authorities say a 13-year-old boy was walking with five friends on 14th Avenue in West Babylon.

They were reportedly headed toward the playground at Tooker Elementary School when the boy knocked on the door of a random house and then ran away.

ALSO READ | Mayor Eric Adams says Key to NYC, public school masks mandate both end on Monday

Mike Marza reports that both mandates will end on Monday, March 7.

Police say the homeowner, 48-year-old John Petrillo, first attempted to run after the boy.

But when the child got onto a bicycle and began to pedal away, police say Petrillo got in his car and gave chase.

He allegedly cut the boy off at 13th Street and Tooker Avenue, getting out of his car and pulling the teen off his bike.

Police say he pushed the 13-year-old against his car, hit the boy's head against the car window, and displayed pepper spray.

He allegedly threatened to use it on the boy, and that he would let his dog attack if the teen tried to run away.

MORE NEWS | Gov. Hochul directs electric, gas utilities to work with New Yorkers on energy bills

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has directed electric and gas utilities to work with customers to pay their bills and mitigate costs wherever possible.

A passerby intervened to stop the incident, and the suspect is accused of verbally threatening him, as well.

Petrillo was arrested at his home around 1 a.m. Friday.

He is charged with second-degree menacing and endangering the welfare of a child.

A man who answered the door at Petrillo's house Friday did not want to comment.

Petrillo did not speak with Eyewitness News reporter Kristin Thorne as he left his arraignment at court in Central Islip.

He was released on his own recognizance.

The judge described what the boy did to Petrillo as a "prank" and told Petrillo if it happens again to count to 10 or go somewhere to calm down and not to react.


* More Long Island news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube