Homeless Man Stabbed While Out on Bail


The homeless man out on bail after pleading guilty in connection with a fatal beating in Riverhead this winter was stabbed multiple times on Wednesday afternoon.

Daniel Hughes, who is 39 years old, went into the 76 Gas Station on Lake Avenue in Riverside and asked for police assistance at about 3:45 PM, Southampton Town police said. They found he had multiple stab wounds and the Flanders Northampton Volunteer Ambulance Corps transported him to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead.

Lieutenant Susan Ralph said Wednesday evening that he was conscious and speaking, but he was not cooperative with detectives, who were attempting to identify the person responsible for his injuries.

The people who were with Hughes also refused to assist detectives with the investigation.

Hughes, who reportedly grew up in Springs and East Hampton, was just released from the Suffolk County jail four days ago on June 20 on a $300,000 bond. He had been in custody since January 14, charged with felony assault following the death of Wayne Sapiane, who was also homeless. Suffolk County homicide detectives said Hughes punched Sapiane, 65, in the head in Riverhead on January 2.

Sapiane suffered catastrophic brain damage, his brother, Gary Sapiane, a well-known radio personality for WLNG in Sag Harbor, said at the time. He was taken off life support days later.

According to the criminal complaint, Hughes “did strike Wayne Sapiane in the face, causing a series of medical events that resulted in the death of Wayne Sapiane. The defendant stated in sum and substance he slapped the decedent.”

But, Hughes was never charged with more serious charges, such as murder or manslaughter.

Instead, Hughes pleaded guilty to second-degree assault on June 18 before Suffolk County Criminal Court Judge Timothy Mazzei. Sentencing is scheduled Aug. 17.

Detectives are asking the public for information related to Hughes’ stabbing. The detective division can be reached at 631-702-2230.

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