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Update: Lighthouse to remain closed indefinitely

08/02/2016 12:29 PM |

Horton Point Lighthouse

The Horton Point Lighthouse will remain closed indefinitely following a Monday meeting to discuss “safety concerns” there, according to Southold Historical Society director Karen Lund-Rooney.

FRIDAY

One of Southold Town’s most popular historic properties has been closed over public safety concerns following a pair of incidents that led to the arrest of a caretaker’s son, officials said.

Joshua Haggerty, 34, of Southold was charged with harassment following a June 9 incident at Horton Point Lighthouse, Southold Town police said. He was arrested again July 22 for trespassing on the property, where his father lives and works as a caretaker, according to Chief Martin Flatley.

The Southold Historical Society, which manages the property, announced in its emailed newsletter that the lighthouse grounds would be closed to the public this weekend due to “safety concerns.”

When reached by telephone Friday, historical society director Karen Lund Rooney declined to comment on the specifics of the incidents, but said the closure is related to two arrests on the property.

“We have some concerns about safety at the lighthouse,” she said. “We wanted to take a deep breath and close it just for this weekend and the board of trustees will be having a meeting on Monday to discuss safety issues.”

Chief Flatley said the behavior that led to Mr. Haggerty’s June 9 arrest was not directed at any individual but did occur while the grounds were open and members of the public were present. He’s due back in Southold Town Justice Court on Aug. 19 in relation to that arrest, court records show. He pleaded guilty following his arrest last week.

The chief said he has been in touch with the historical society about its concerns.

Mr. Haggerty has a history of arrests both locally and out of state, according to news reports. In 2007, he was sentenced to six months in federal prison for threatening an ATF agent who was investigating a drug case involving a friend, according to the Baltimore Sun. At his sentencing, Mr. Haggerty said his “big mouth has gotten [him] in trouble [his] whole life,” the Sun reported.

Mr. Haggerty was also arrested last year following a DWI crash in which he was found in possession of heroin and a hypodermic needle, according to a prior police report.

In 2010, he was arrested for attempting to break into the former Oyster Factory on Shipyard Lane in East Marion. He and another man had entered the property on a boat.

Mr. Haggerty also made headlines in January when a boat he was operating ran aground at Robins Island. He and two passengers were rescued by police and fire officials and treated for hypothermia in that incident.

Horton Point Lighthouse, which was commissioned by President George Washington in 1790, is located on the Long Island Sound in Southold. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The property is normally open from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays between Memorial Day and Columbus Day.

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