The town and village police departments of East Hampton combined for an unannounced crackdown on drunken drivers over the weekend, resulting in six arrests between midnight Saturday and 4 a.m. Sunday.
“It was a small task force,” Town Police Chief Edward Ecker said on Tuesday. “We brought in two Suffolk County police officers and pooled our resources.”
In particular, the pool put a focus on Montauk. Two weekends ago, with a larger task force that involved checkpoints in Wainscott and on Route 114, there were 17 arrests, mostly for driving while intoxicated.
“We are very happy with the results,” Chief Ecker said. He promised also that “there are more sweeps coming.”
Since July 1, town police have made 52 D.W.I. arrests, with the village and Sag Harbor departments contributing about 20 more between them.
The first arrest of the past weekend’s operation was made just after midnight at the intersection of Route 114 and Stephen Hand’s Path when a 2012 Nissan, driven by Omar Vargas of Elmwood Park, N.J., was spotted swerving onto the shoulder, the report says. East Hampton Town Justice Catherine Cahill read the report aloud in court; it indicated that Mr. Vargas’s blood content had been recorded as .15. Bail was set at $350.
Raffael P. De Luca, 27, of New York City told the court during his arraignment Sunday morning that he was a self-employed disc jockey. Police had stopped him because, according to the report, one of his brake lights was out. The report said his blood content was .14. Because he has a previous (2009) conviction for drunken driving, Mr. De Luca faces an elevated felony charge. Bail was set at $2,500.
Daphne C. Jarrett of East Hampton was arrested a little before 3:30 that morning. According to the printout that Justice Cahill read in court, her blood count was recorded at .11. Bail was set at $250.
An East Hampton Village officer, stationed in Montauk as part of the combined operation, arrested Jose L. Rodriguez, 41, at Essex Street and South Fairview Avenue shortly after 2:30 a.m. He told the court he splits time between Puerto Rico and Montauk, and owns La Bodega, a restaurant in Montauk. He was released on his own recognizance.
Karri-Ann Spielberg, 36, of East Hampton was arrested at Industrial and South Edgemere Roads, again by a village officer stationed in Montauk, and charged with D.W.I. She was released without bail.
Saturday night produced one unusual arrest: instead of a D.W.I., a B.W.I. when, not long before that evening’s fireworks display, an East Hampton marine officer arrested Philippe Mao, 49, of Brooklyn in Three Mile Harbor. The officer said he was operating an unregistered dinghy with an outboard motor when he was questioned. Back at the Gann Road dock he was asked to perform sobriety tests, which he reportedly failed. According to Justice Cahill, his blood-alcohol count was .09.
Mr. Mao presented a challenge for the court Sunday morning when it came to setting bail.
“I have nothing with me. Everything is on board,” he told Justice Cahill.
When arrested, he was wearing a bathing suit. His money was on his boat, he said, anchored in Three Mile Harbor. The only person on the boat, he told the court, was his mother, visiting from France, who would have no way to get the money from the boat to the police station.
“The people would not oppose [releasing him without bail],” Melissa Aguanno, an assistant district attorney, told Justice Cahill, who concurred, and Mr. Mao returned to his boat later that day.
Sunday night produced two more D.W.I. arrests.
Howard B. Gould, 39, of Darien, Conn., was pulled over on James Lane in East Hampton at bout 11:15 p.m.; police said he had been speeding. He reportedly failed roadside field tests. Back at the station house, police said, his blood count registered .21, leading to a felony count of drunken driving as well as aggravated unlicensed operation.
The last D.W.I. arrest of the busy weekend came at about 3:30 Monday morning, when town police arrested Daniel J. Farnham of Montauk and charged him with felony drunken driving.
According to Justice Cahill, who set bail at $250, Mr. Farnham’s blood count was recorded at .20.
In recent D.W.I. arrests apart from the weekend sweep, Nestor P. Santana, 28, of Sag Harbor was reportedly involved in a head-on collision on Napeague at about 1:30 a.m. on July 14, on Route 27 just east of the Old Montauk Highway fork, when he fell asleep at the wheel. His 1997 eastbound Honda veered into the westbound lane, crashing into a 2003 Jeep driven by Alexandra M. Carmichael of Water Mill, which, in turn, was rear-ended by a 2007 Ford driven by Fernando Flores of Wainscott, who was unable to stop in time.
Mr. Santana’s car burst into flames, and he fled, the report indicates. The Montauk Fire Department was called in to extinguish the flames.
Mr. Santana was located later at an address on Second House Road that had called for an ambulance. An officer administered sobriety tests there, which he reportedly failed. After being treated at Southampton Hospital, Mr. Santana was released to police custody. Bail was set later that morning at $600.
Meanwhile, back at the scene of the crash, police found that Ms. Carmichael’s license had been suspended. She too was taken to the hospital after being placed under arrest, for treatment of a dislocated wrist as well as a badly bruised left side. She was eventually released with a ticket to appear in court at a later date. Her passenger was also treated at the hospital, as was Mr. Flores.
Another accident leading to a drunken-driving arrest happened last Thursday at 3 a.m., when police got a call that a car had hit a utility pole on Accabonac Road. According to the report, there were many empty Corona beer bottles in the car.
An officer spotted three men walking north on Accabonac in a drunken state, all showing minor cuts and scrapes. The officer called for an ambulance.
None of the men, according to the report, would admit to driving the car, but after police found that one of them, Franklin G. Bermeo, 31, of East Hampton, was its registered owner, the other two identified him as the driver. He allegedly failed field sobriety tests and was taken to headquarters, where his blood count reportedly registered .15.
Mr. Bermeo was released without bail later that morning.
Kalen D. Bushe, 21, of Ireland was arrested and charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated at about 5 a.m. on July 16. The charge indicates that he failed the station-house breath test with a reading of at least .18, which is a felony-level reading. He returned to court last Thursday, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor D.W.I., and was sentenced to 50 hours of community service.
Also arrested on July 16 was Julian E. Rivera, 20, of East Hampton, who was pulled over a little before 4 a.m. on Montauk Highway after being clocked by radar at 86 miles per hour in a 45 m.p.h. zone, police said. Mr. Rivera allegedly failed a field sobriety test, including a breath test. Back at headquarters, he refused to take the breath test, police said, and in consequence, Justice Lisa Rana imposed an automatic suspension of his driver’s license later that morning. He was released without bail, but with a future date in court.
Geetanjali Toronto, 21, of Bayside was arrested at about 7 a.m. on Saturday, after being stopped for speeding on Main Street in Montauk, police said. His blood count was reported at .10, and bail was set a few hours later at $350.
Sixto E. Landivar-Guarango, 45, of East Hampton was arrested on July 14 at about 4:15 in the morning. An officer said Mr. Landivar-Guarango had been riding the shoulder on Springs-Fireplace Road, then made a turn without signaling. When the officer activated his lights, Mr. Landivar-Guarango kept moving, the report says, and he did not pull over until the officer turned on his siren.
The driver handed the officer an Ecuadorean passport as identification, the report says, before failing roadside sobriety tests, At headquarters, he reportedly failed another breath test. When police ran his identification they discovered that his license had been suspended since 2007 for failure to appear in court and failure to pay a fine.
Bail was set at $1,000.
Julian Cavin-Zeidenstein, 22, of Brooklyn was arrested at 3:15 a.m., on July 8. He had been driving on Montauk Highway near Baiting Hollow Road in East Hampton, allegedly doing an estimated 45 m.p.h. in a 30 m.p.h. zone. He failed field sobriety tests, including a breath test, police said, and was taken to the station house, where he reportedly refused to take another breath test.
He was released that morning without bail.