After several seasonal workers living in Montauk motels were burglarized last month, East Hampton Town police obtained a video surveillance tape of a suspect. Photos of the man were circulated around the hamlet, leading to the arrest on Friday night of Franklin P. Guanga Sinchi, 30, of Montauk.
He is charged with three Class C felonies, although police indicated that more charges may be added. Two of the burglaries are said to have occurred at the Ocean Beach Resort and one at Daunt’s Albatross. Police said “electronics, jewelry, and women’s undergarments” were stolen.
Mr. Guanga Sinchi was arraigned late Saturday afternoon before Justice Catherine Cahill in East Hampton Justice Court. A cousin of his, who translated for him, told the court the defendant was a stonemason and has lived in East Hampton for four years. Also present in the courtroom were six men and three women, family and friends, all of whom hail from Cuenca, a mountainous state in Ecuador.
No lawyer was there to speak for Mr. Guanga Sinchi. The Suffolk County Legal Aid Society does not send an attorney to East Hampton on weekends, even in cases involving serious felony charges.
If convicted on any one of the felony charges, the accused man would serve mandatory prison time, from 1 to 15 years. “The bail the D.A. is requesting is $10,000 on each count of burglary, $30,000 total,” Justice Cahill told the family. “Is there any possibility that you might be able to post that?”
The family indicated that it would be difficult to obtain that much money, especially on a weekend.
“He will go to Riverhead. He will be in Riverhead until Thursday,” said the justice, at which time, she said, he would be released if the district attorney has not indicted him. But, she warned, “It is possible that they will indict him,” and explained that an indictment is “the first step of a felony prosecution.”
The defendant was taken back to police headquarters to be driven to the county jail. The family group moved from the courthouse to the parking lot, gathering in a circle. A woman was sobbing. They spoke together quietly for some time, as the sun began to set.
The next day bail was posted, and Mr. Guanga Sinchi was released.
Two arrests in three days of a Springs 21-year-old resulted last week in bail being set by an exasperated Justice Lisa Rana at $7,000 during her second arraignment of Christopher S. Pulido.
He was first arrested after a late-night domestic dispute on Boatheader’s Lane in East Hampton, involving a woman, also 21, who police say is the mother of his two children. According to the report, the powerfully built man grabbed her by the arms hard enough to leave bruises, twisted and bit her right arm, and threw her down by her hair. When her father intervened, Mr. Pulido punched him in the head, according to police, knocking him down.
It was not the first such incident. The young woman held an order of protection against the man, so he was charged not only with criminal mischief, a misdemeanor, and two counts of physical harassment, but also a felony count of criminal contempt. Yet another felony charge against him, stemming from incidents in May involving thefts from parked cars, remains unresolved.
Stephen Grossman, Mr. Pulido’s attorney, defended his client’s actions at his arraignment on Sept. 10. “Both families have a heated relationship,” he told Justice Rana. “There have been unreported incidents. To some of these charges, there is a defense.”
“I’m not going to speak to unreported incidents,” the justice answered. “There are three previous cases, including a felony.” She set bail at $1,000. It was posted by an older woman who was seated in the courtroom.
Two days later, last Thursday, Mr. Pulido was back before Justice Rana, facing a charge of possession of a stolen item. Thursday is criminal calendar day in Justice Court, so a Legal Aid attorney, Sheila Mullahy, was on hand. So were two county assistant district attorneys, Maggie Bopp and Dan Cronin.
“Quite frankly, I just had him in here,” Justice Rana said.
Mr. Pulido was charged with criminal possession of a Hewlett-Packard laptop, Mr. Cronin told the court. “Based on the nature of the charges, the people are asking for $25,000 bail.”
Ms. Mullahy asked that Mr. Pulido be released without bail.
“Bail is set in the amount of $7,000, cash,” the justice said. Mr. Pulido sat back down on the prisoner’s bench and looked out at the same woman who had posted his bail before.
As of Tuesday he was being held in the county jail in Riverside, with a return court date here next Thursday to face a myriad of charges.
A few days in that jail “was a big learning experience” for a Port Jefferson man, Derrick M. Dias, 27, who was turned over to East Hampton Town police on an arrest warrant Friday after posting bail UpIsland on unrelated charges. Mr. Dias was charged here on July 4 with misdemeanor drug possession, but failed to show up for an August court date.
“You lost your bail,” Justice Cahill told the handcuffed man, who had posted $250 following his arrest.
She examined his records. “You have an awful driving record,” she commented. “Speeding. Tailgating. Littering. There are a lot of tickets. And, you have a history of not coming to court. You have 19 suspensions of your license.”
“Twelve,” Mr. Dias corrected. “My lawyer took care of it.”
“You’re going to have to post $1,000 bail,” the justice said.
“I did spend the last four days in Riverhead,” Mr. Dias pleaded. “It was a big learning experience.”
“How much bail did you post in Port Jeff?” asked Justice Cahill.
“This is a bargain. I’m only looking for $1,000. One thousand, cash,” the justice said, adding, “I feel badly for you, Mr. Dias.”
A woman entered the courtroom just then and told the court she was Mr. Dias’s aunt and that she would post bail. Justice Cahill asked her if she thought her nephew was a flight risk.
“The whole family is involved now,” the woman answered. She posted bail later that morning.