While in the custody of East Hampton Town police Saturday night on a charge of driving while intoxicated, a 21-year-old woman turned violent, striking a village policeman, who had come to assist, with a closed fist. Amanda E. Stetler of Hampton Bays was in handcuffs, in the back of a town police cruiser bound for Wainscott headquarters, when the arresting officer, fearing his prisoner was having an unspecified “medical event,” pulled over on Main Street in East Hampton. Two officers from the village met him there.
While they waited for an ambulance to arrive, the town officer removed Ms. Stetler’s handcuffs. At that point, “she became combative,” according to the report, lunging out of the patrol car and throwing a punch at one of the village officers, striking him flush on the side of his face. “Said punch caused swelling, redness, and discomfort to the left cheek, jawbone, and rear left side teeth of undersigned officer,” he reported.
The woman then took off running. Officers raced down Main Street in pursuit and she was soon back in custody.
The incident, which police said began at about 8 p.m. when they spotted her 2017 BMW swerving on Montauk Highway near Windmill Lane in Amagansett, ended at Southampton Hospital, where she was admitted for observation. She refused to take a blood test to determine the level of alcohol in her system, police said. The officer she struck was also taken to the hospital, where he was treated and released, East Hampton Village Chief Michael Tracey said Tuesday.
On top of the drunken-driving charge, town police added charges of resisting arrest and unlawful escape from custody. All three are misdemeanors. The village department added a violation charge of harassment. The village report describes Ms. Stetler as “highly intoxicated and possibly suffering from alcohol poisoning.” She will be arraigned on the charges next Thursday.
Police reportedly clocked a Manhattan woman driving a 2014 Mini Cooper east through Amagansett at midnight Friday at 49 miles per hour in a 35 m.p.h. zone as she approached the Napeague stretch. Jacqueline S. Castro told the arresting officer that she had had “a few glasses of wine.”
She took the breath test at headquarters, with a reported reading of .17, over twice the level that defines intoxication and just below the .18 number that would have raised the misdemeanor charge to a more serious level.
East Hampton Town Justice Lisa R. Rana ordered Ms. Castro released without bail on Saturday morning and told her to return to court on May 25. Ms. Castro said she would be out of town on business that day and had already bought plane tickets. The date was changed to June 15. “I appreciate it,” she told the court.
A Sunday night traffic stop on Stephen Hand’s Path in East Hampton led to the arrest of Edgar Benjamin Vasquez, 38, of Westhampton Beach. Police said his 2005 Honda had crossed a hazard marking and swerved into the oncoming lane. His breath test in Wainscott produced a reading of .11, police said.
While the drunken-driving charge he faces is a misdemeanor, he also was charged with a felony for unlicensed driving. Mr. Vasquez is already facing another D.W.I. charge elsewhere, which triggered the new felony charge. Bail was set at $5,000. Mr. Vasquez was unable to post it, and was in the county jail as of yesterday.
The arrest of John Tyler Armstrong, an East Hampton Town Trustee, is reported elsewhere on this page.