Hamptons Police Blotter: Bulova Protest, Buddhist Hoodlums, Zombies

Old Man McGumbus Graffiti OMM
O.M.M. graffiti on Shelter Island was attributed to Old Man McGumbus this week, Photo: Shikhar Bhattarai/iStock/Thinkstock

Where Have All The Ruins Gone?
Three members of an organization called Preserve Our Ruins And Derelict Buildings Dot Org were arrested for trespassing on the Bulova construction site in Sag Harbor late Wednesday. The three middle-aged women were carrying cans of spray paint and stencils bearing the name of their activist group. Using the power of deduction, the police concluded that the women were planning to “tag” the buildings on the construction site under the cover of darkness. Placed under arrest, the three activists began to struggle violently. One was heard to shout, “The character of our village has been irreparably harmed by the reckless refurbishment of what was an irreplaceable, crumbling ruin and the locating of houses on top of what was once a debris-strewn concrete pit!”

Don’t Blame The Buddha
In recent weeks Shelter Island had been suffering from a rash of graffiti. Cars, boats, businesses, even some fish were “bombed” with the tag “OMM.” For a while, police suspected that the vandalism was the work of Buddhist hoodlums—they reasoned that “OMM” might have been a misspelling of the Sanskrit mantra “om”—and they began to question members of the various rival Buddhist gangs that flourish on Shelter Island. The woods-dwelling Theravadins were quick to blame the Mahayana, of course, but even after police succeeded in rounding up all of the known gang members and placing them in detention, the graffiti continued unabated. Another theory briefly entertained was that the taggings were the actions of craft-beer enthusiasts: “OMM,” in this scenario, would have been short for “Ommegang,” a well-regarded craft brewery in upstate New York. Finally, police got a break when they realized that the only structure on the island that had not been defaced was the home of Old Man McGumbus (initials O.M.M.), the 104-year-old WWII bomber pilot. A stake-out succeeded in catching McGumbus red-handed, or at least with a can of red paint in his hand.

Not Zombies, Just Aimless
Some Sag Harbor residents called police in alarm over the appearance Friday night of a large group of people wandering in confused circles in the vicinity of the Long Wharf. Said one frightened caller, “They just walk in circles, and they occasionally stop and stare at the entrance of the Bay Street Theatre. It’s creepy—I think they’re zombies!” When police questioned some members of the crowd, though, they discovered that they were simply fans of Nancy Atlas who couldn’t believe that her fabulous Friday night Fireside Sessions (sponsored by Dan’s Papers) were over. As reality sunk in, the crowd reluctantly dispersed. Until next winter.

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