Mattituck man arrested in connection with fatal burglary

04/20/2011 10:08 AM |

Martin Tarpey

An Aquebogue man and a Mattituck man fled an East Islip house they’d broken into last week after one of its occupants defended the property with a shotgun and killed one of their accomplices and left another in critical condition, Suffolk County Police said.

Philipe Robinette, 27, of Aquebogue and Martin Tarpey, 25, of Mattituck and their two accomplices, one wielding a .22 caliber rifle, forced their way into the house just before 12:30 a.m. last Wednesday, April 13, and shot a pit bull named Tasha, police said.

The male occupant of the house, who lived there with two women, confronted the men with a shotgun and fired at Justin Benkov, 25, of Mastic and Fred Flock, 27, of Coram, police said. Mr. Robinette and Mr. Tarpey escaped.
None of the occupants of the house was injured and the dog is expected to recover.

Mr. Flock was pronounced dead at the scene. Mr. Benkov was taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, where he was listed in critical condition. Police determined he was wanted on a warrant for fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. It was not immediately clear which man had been holding the rifle or shot the dog.
Mr. Robinette was arrested a short while later and charged with first-degree burglary. Mr. Tarpey was arrested a week later and charged with first-degree burglary.

Mr. Robinette is being held on $1 million cash bail at the request of assistant District Attorney James Chalifoux. If convicted, Mr. Robinette faces a maximum of 10 to 25 years in prison. Mr. Tarpey was scheduled to appear in 1st District Court Wednesday.
Police said the burglars had targeted the house, though a police spokesperson did not release details.

Police had originally reported that only three men were involved in the burglary, but upon further investigation learned that Mr. Tarpey was an accomplice during the break-in.

Mr. Robinette was arrested last May in Riverhead Town when he stabbed a gang member after that man baited him into a confrontation on Main Street, Riverhead Police said at the time. He pleaded guilty to second-degree and third-degree assault on Dec. 7 and served time at the Suffolk County jail.

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37 Comment

  • Tarpey has been going downhill for years. Where are his parents? He was such a great kid growing up. How about some rehab and counseling before it’s really too late?!

  • Shame on you for putting this on his parents. Good parents do their best to raise their children to the best of their ability and I know this is the case with Marty’s parents. At some point a child becomes an adult and must become accountable for his or her own actions. Marty has been warned and helped/supported and given good advice from his friends, family members and employers. I do not wish a situation like this on anyone, especially Marty. I am thankful he is alive and now his fate is in the hands of the justice system. I hope whatver the outcome is in terms of sentencing that this experience will be the wake up call that he needs to change his life and embrace it instead of throwing it away on drugs, dealing and the like. Marty and his family need your prayers and support instead of judgement and finger pointing. Shame on you.

  • where are your parents cas? they seem to have done an wonderful job raising a socially awkward individual who spends their time responding on local article blogs. You would make an excellent social media bully.

  • Um… he’s 26 years old – an adult and his parents did everything possible to help him as a youth and as an adult. Please refrain from blaming anyone but the perpertrators and try not to be a simpleton. Thanks.

  • Um… he’s 26 years old – an adult and his parents did everything possible to help him as a youth and as an adult. Please refrain from blaming anyone but the perpertrators and try not to be a simpleton. Thanks.

  • Why make this about someone else Irresponsibleposter. The fact is the kid did wrong and he is finally paying for it, bottom line. Stop making this about other people, everyone is entitled to an opinion. He had many many chances to right his wrongs but instead he feel deeper into it. Let’s just be thankful that these immoral actions didn’t harm any innocent civilians. If it was your house that was broken into you would be saying different. What kind of animals shoot a dog?? It’s to late for the blame game, what’s done is done and all we can hope is that justice is served. It’s ridiculous that you need a weapon in your home just to be safe. Who knows what could have happened if this guy didn’t have the opportunity to defend himself. By the way you took your time out to post something just to state that cas is “socially awkward” for posting something?!? You seem like the awkward one.

  • Then they shouldn’t have kicked him out of their house when he did wrong. They should have HELPED him and sent him to rehab, not turned there back to temporarily deal with the problem.

  • Then they shouldn’t have kicked him out of their house when he did wrong. They should have HELPED him and sent him to rehab instead of turning their backs.

  • LOL the house was targeted…they had a pitbull…I’m not a cop..but this looks like a robbery of another drug dealer. why wasn’t the shooters name posted? probly cause he has a record.

  • How do you know that the parents didn’t help him? Where is his personal responsibility in all of this he is an adult, he makes his own choices. I can’t help but wonder about the house that was broken into….it seems as if they were prepared for some sort of problem (guns, pit bull) …sounds like there’s more to this story.

  • My parents have done an amazing job raising us… Some people need to learn on their own.

  • Parents can only do so much. MY PARENTS can only do so much. It is up to the person to change themselves. I support my family no matter what. That is what family does for each other.

  • Thank you.

  • Testing this to see how it works.

  • Marty is a good kid and was with the wrong people at the wrong time…they’ll rule that he was never in the house, never touched a gun and isn’t like the rest of the dirtbags that pulled this stunt. He’s also a dog lover, family has 4 dogs, and he would never inflict harm on a dog nor a person. If anything he’s guilty by association but shouldn’t be held in the same regard as these other kids who have run with gangs their whole lives. Don’t pass judgement on people just because you read a news non objective news story written by information that at this point can only be considered speculation. Remember innocent until proven guilty? You talk all this trash when you read a half page story and automatically are the judge and have it all figured out? There’s a case and details to be heard here so anyone talking ill of Marty can just stay quiet until the truth (not a news story) is out.

  • can we all stop talking like marty is some some of lost soul that “couldve” been helped…he can be helped now and just so you all know…i know him very well and hes not nearly as far off and people are making him out to be…hes a hard worker, a good friend a good person that was with the wrong people at the wrong time…everyone that knows marty knows that this isnt him. he obviously didnt understand the situation at hand and was dealing with people far worse than he…peer pressure is a terrible thing….ressurrect the dead kid and hed do it again…the kid in the hospital, hed do it again…and the guy that owns the house, he’ll keep dealing his drugs, the kid phillipe…well obviously he’ll do it again 10 times over, look at his rap sheet. marty is NOT one of them, not even close

  • whoever you are, you don’t know marty.

  • To Bottom Line: Obviously you have NO experience raising children in this day & age.
    So close your blinds, shut your front door and S T F Up!
    Stop pretending your world is perfect…. (PS…bet you have NO children and read MANY books on how to raise them)…just saying!

  • You shouldnt make this a personal attack on a girl who is obviously hurting from a devistating blow to her family or her parents. Marty is a grown man capable of making his own decissions.. And Mistakes!Marty is NOT the first person to follow people in the wrong direction on the Nort Fork. In case you didnt know it, drug abuse is VERY Rampant on the North Fork, and it is in/and consumes households of every income level, and it doesnt care if your family is tight knit, or disfunctional. Clearly he is a troubled young man, but for some to pass blame for his own actions onto his family and ridicule them is not only irresponsible, but also immature and ignorant. It goes directly against the grain of small town support we gather from each other, and is the exact opposite of care and compassion we are taught to express to one another from Gods stand point. Everything in your question, and two sentences is hurtful, blaming and resentful!

  • i wonder if the postings will be this intense when he’s aquitted.

  • hahaha i love to see how a kid like this, who used to make fun other others that had issues back in the day, grow up to be even worse than those he used to target. it’s not his parents fault, it’s called kharma.

  • You cant force someone into rehab. Do you know if it was offered and refused? The court can and probably will mandate it. That’s why some parents resort to making a child leave home. They can’t help him, no longer control him, but can control how much longer his actions affect the rest of the family.


    Commenting on town matters is one thing. Comments on arrest reports is simply irresponsible.

  • On a side note to you and “Obvious” who wrote..”LOL the house was targeted…they had a pitbull”, just because you have guns in your house and own a Pit Bull doesn’t mean anything! It just means you own a dog and enjoy guns or hunt.
    Coming from someone who has BOTH with no “sort of problem” other than ignorant people….

  • Why are you asking about the parents of a 25-year-old man? They have no right or legal power to force rehab or counseling on him. Sometimes, an adult from a good family makes bad choices. He will pay for his bad choices. Blaming his parents doesn’t help; they did as much as they could to guide him.

  • Just because the house has a Pit Bull in it does not always make it a drug house or drug dealers!!! The two do not go hand in hand!

  • This is a seven day wonder article. Hopefully they will go away for the 25 years before they hurt and kill more people. They do not rehab and they do not change. Stop lowering yourself to the gutter,Sandy. You do not have to reply. It is not you in trouble. Just live your own life decent, not like your brother. The shooting of the dog upsets me the most.

  • Sandi don’t beat your head against the wall, I know both your parents and they are good parents .the readers are going to believe what they read in Suffolk rag before the truth comes out anyway.

  • Sandi don’t beat your head against the wall, I know both your parents and they are good parents .the readers are going to believe what they read in Suffolk rag before the truth comes out anyway.

  • He committed a crime. He should rot in jail!!!!

  • I happen to know the Tarpey family very well and know that they are nice, kind-hearted people. To question the parenting skills of two people that you do not even know is ignorant and you should be ashamed of yourself for doing so. These people are hurting right now from a mistake that their son/brother made and the only thing they need is support and words of encouragement. People say that you need to hit rock bottom before you get help. I believe that this will be Marty’s rock bottom and he will learn and grow from this experience.

  • Absolutely.and I am sure his family will be helping the dead young man’s family (that he was with) and will they be helping support the family of the one who was critically shot? With support and words of encouragement, etc. for everyone?

  • Support and kind words for all the families involved makes sense to me. Afterall, I would imagine they are all hurting at this time!

  • Who the FUC are you. Are you just a “local” with nothing to do but stick your nose into everyone’s business? If you were there then speek up otherwise keep your mouth shut. If you believe what you read in this newspaper then you are the one in need of help

  • stop being such a redneck, so do I but come on. who would case a house in E.I. if you live on the north fork???