Long Island News
Wedding guest accused of stealing gifts from newlyweds
SAYVILLE, L.I. (WABC) -- The suspect had his head wrapped in gauze after being confronted by a bride, groom and their guests at a Saturday night wedding in West Sayville.
p> Dressed to the 9's, the group chased down 18 year old Omar Santiago because he allegedly tried to take off with Larry and Joanna Williamson's wedding gifts.
"They caught him over by the tennis courts," Whitney Leavandosky said.
Leavandosky works at West Sayville Country Club. He says a quick thinking maitre d' spotted the suspect during the reception carrying a white box with gift envelopes for the newlyweds inside. Police say the Irvington, New Jersey man tried to hide in a bathroom after allegedly stuffing some of those envelopes with cash and checks into his pants.
"He ran. I don't see how he thought he was going to escape. There were so many people here, eyewitnesses. Very foolish move," Leavandosky said.
Santiago went to the wedding with the groom's niece. Larry and Johanne Williamson are now on their honeymoon. The Central Islip couple's friends and neighbors are just so thankful all the money was recovered.
"I would have beat the kid up. Personally, I would have chased him and tackled him down," neighbor Nicole Gallo said.
"Very, very nice couple. We've been living here the same amount of time, nearly 4 years. They're lovely people. Larry will give his right arm to anybody. Joanne would do the same," Linda Gallo said.
Santiago's arraignment was postponed because of injuries he got in the melee.
He is charged with Grand Larceny 4th Degree.
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