LINDENHURST, NY – Three Long Island men have been indicted on charges of second-degree assault stemming from an eruption of violence last month on Sunrise Highway in Lindenhurst. According to the Long Island Press, Patrick J. O’Connor, 38, his son James O’Connor, 19, and a minor, who remains unidentified, face the charges following their involvement in the public flurry of violence, announced District Attorney Ray Tierney of Suffolk County on Friday.
The charges sprout from an incident on the evening of December 20, 2023. As reported by Tierney’s office, the brawl that transpired on Sunrise Highway was a sequel to a previous discord between family members.
On December 17, 2023, Patrick O’Connor and his 32-year-old cousin ignited their familial feud, allegedly starting a confrontation in a Centereach restaurant. The run-in spun out of control with Patrick O’Connor reportedly trying to strike his cousin with beer bottles.
The violence continued to escalate a few days later in Hauppauge. According to the report, when Patrick O’Connor and his cousin crossed paths again, the cousin and his father took to tailing Patrick O’Connor, who was driving a Ford F-150 pickup truck, in a white GMC Sierra pickup. At the scene of Sunrise Highway, James O’Connor arrived in a Toyota Tundra, accompanied by his three minor siblings aged 16, 12, and 4.
James O’Connor proceeded to ram the back of the GMC Sierra, upending his own vehicle. However, none of the children accompanying James were injured in the incident. When the cousin and his father crawled out of their GMC, the brawl bubbled over onto Sunrise Highway.
Witnesses reported seeing Patrick O’Connor belting the cousin’s head repeatedly with a wooden stick, whilst James O’Connor added to the deeds by attacking the cousin. Allegedly, both Patrick and the unnamed minor continued to assault the cousin with wooden sticks. In a shocking turn of events, when the cousin’s brother arrived at the scene, he was allegedly accosted in a similar manner by the defendants.
Patrick O’Connor is slated to appear in court on January 17. His son, James O’Connor is due in court six days later on January 23rd. Meanwhile, exchanges about the unnamed minor’s court proceedings and penalties remain private due to his age.
Despite the monumental chaos wreaked by the defendants, there is an undercurrent of relief that no further severe injuries or fatalities were suffered. District Attorney Ray Tierney expressed his disbelief and horror at the actions of the defendants.
“These defendants brazenly instigated a physical brawl in the heart of Sunrise Highway, tossing their family and public safety into jeopardy,” said Tierney. “Fortunately, the consequence of this violent dispute did not extend to serious injuries or fatalities.”