Did More Plover Hijinx Stop Beach Driving in Southampton?

Hand snatching Hamptons piping plover
Photo: Raymond Hennessy, gongzstudio/123RF

The Hamptons Police Department is currently investigating the recent closure of Southampton Village’s only stretch of beach that allows four-wheel-drive vehicles on the sand during daytime hours. The closure came just hours after the Hamptons Municipal Board announced that the beach would be open to trucks for the summer.

“Just last month, we arrested Benedict Avianos, a Southampton billionaire with a beachfront mansion, for moving a piping plover colony to the dunes in front of his home with the express goal of stopping the public from using what he considers to be his beach,” Hamptons Police spokesman Larry Hirsch said on Monday. “It seems odd that this happened just a few weeks after Mr. Avianos essentially got away with this crime, since we were only able to fine him—which doesn’t affect him in the slightest—and the birds ultimately had to remain where he put them,” Hirsch added, noting, “Despite our best efforts, Mr. Avianos’s high powered lawyer deftly avoided any jail time for his client.”

Due to this fact, Hirsch said HPD detectives would question all homeowners who benefit from the threatened birds nesting in front of their palatial homes. These, he explained, are the very same people who fought tooth and nail to stop people from driving on that beach. “We have not yet caught those responsible for moving the birds at Mr. Avianos’s behest last month,” Hirsch continued. “So we’re exploring leads to see if the same crew could have moved this new colony of piping plovers—though it’s also possible the birds came of their own volition, and that this is just a very convenient coincidence for area homeowners.”

No matter what Hamptons Police investigators discover, or whom they arrest, the beach will remain closed until all eggs hatch and the nesting plovers vacate, which essentially keeps trucks away until summer ends.

Read more tales from the Hamptons Police Blotter

More from Our Sister Sites