As might have been expected, Labor Day weekend had a continual parade of driving while intoxicated arrests across the South Fork. In Southampton Village, a Suffolk County task force, called “Nitecap,” did a sweep from Saturday night into Sunday, resulting in eight arrests. In the Town of East Hampton, police conducted their own mini-sweeps, assigning extra officers to focus on drunken driving. And Sag Harbor had two drunken driving arrests over the weekend, one of Elizabeth A. Damark, 23, of East Hampton, the other of Stephanie J. Bargas, 39, of Manhattan. Both were released without bail.
“We had four guys out on the [Suffolk County] Stop D.W.I. grant,” East Hampton Town Chief Edward V. Ecker said on Tuesday. In the end, there were 19 arrests on drunken driving charges in the town, from Friday morning through Tuesday morning. A drunken driving arrest on Thursday also led to possession charges.
Two of the 19 arrests by East Hampton Town police were on felony charges. The first was of Arben Shoshi, 25, of East Hampton, and it was his second arrest in 11 days. The first arrest of Mr. Shoshi in East Hampton was at about 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 22 when a harbor patrolman saw Mr. Shoshi’s 2010 Jeep parked at the beach at Maidstone Park, allegedly without a permit. In the course of running the plate numbers, an outstanding warrant against him from the New York Police Department was found, according to the report. Mr. Shoshi had been arrested on April 5, 2011, in New York for allegedly picking up a stanchion and hurling it at a car outside a Greenwich Village restaurant. East Hampton turned Mr. Shoshi over to New York City police.
Then, on Sunday morning, when Mr. Shoshi was again arrested, this time on a D.W.I. charge, police said he resisted and kicked a town police officer in the groin. The officer ended up going to Southampton Hospital. As a result, he was facing a felony assault on a police officer charge, as well as resisting arrest and drunken driving.
Mr. Shoshi stood before East Hampton Town Justice Lisa Rana later Sunday morning to be arraigned, with his wife and child in the courtroom.
“Do you want to call an attorney or do you want to proceed, for arraignment purposes, on your own?” Justice Rana asked Mr. Shoshi, as is the usual practice. In most cases, when those accused are facing D.W.I. charges, they do not wait for an attorney. The justice will enter a plea of not guilty, determine bail, and set a date to return to court. Justices will also remind defendants of the importance of obtaining an attorney for their return trip.
When Mr. Shoshi told the court he would proceed to arraignment without an attorney, however, Justice Rana reminded him of the gravity of the charges. Although she said she was not advising him either way, she again asked if he wanted to call an attorney. He asked to do so and was taken to an anteroom. Half an hour later, Brian J. DeSesa of Edward D. Burke Jr. and Associates of Sag Harbor as well as Mr. Burke walked into court. It had been a busy morning for the law office; Mr. Burke had already appeared in Southampton Village and Sag Harbor Village courts.
As it turned out, the New York City charge had been resolved, with Mr. Shoshi’s case being adjourned in contemplation of dismissal, meaning the charge would be dismissed if he stayed out of legal trouble over a prescribed time period, and setting Feb. 22 for him to return to court.
Nevertheless, Justice Rana said felony assault on a police officer was “a very serious charge,” and set bail at $2,500. “We’re asking the D.A. to take a look at this to see if we can get an indictment,” Chief Ecker said on Tuesday.
Labor Day Felony Charge
The other arrest that led to a felony charge occurred on Monday, Labor Day, morning. Clever A. Sinche of Corona, Queens, was arrested on drunken driving, but the charge was raised to a class D felony, because, police said, a minor (aged 15 or younger) was in the car at the time of the arrest. State law requires mandatory felony charges under such circumstances, with an immediate blood test required.
Mr. Sinche was represented in court that morning by Robert Savage, who requested bail be lower than the $2,500 Justice Rana initially set. “My client has lived [in Corona] for 14 years. He is married with four children,” Mr. Savage said. Justice Rana responded that there were no extenuating circumstances, and kept the bail at $2,500. Mr. Sinche is due back in court today.
Mr. Shoshi’s case was the last to come before the court on Sunday. Justice Rana arraigned another five that day who had been arrested that morning or the previous night.
First up was Charles Ly, 22, of East Hampton, whose blood alcohol count was recorded at .16. He was released without bail, it having been noted that it was his first offense and that he has local roots. Nicholas McErlean, 23, of Sag Harbor had a count of .15, according to the report read by Justice Rana in court. He, too, was released without bail.
Jeremy Snepar of Manhattan had a reported blood alcohol count of .11. Bail was set at $350. Also arraigned that day was Angel Garcia Alvarez. Mr. Alvarez spoke to the court through a translator. He said he had been here eight years and had family members in the courtroom. His count was .09. Justice Rana noted that he also was charged with driving an uninsured vehicle and having an open container of alcohol in the car, however, and set $350 bail.
More on Labor Day
Labor Day morning was even busier, with seven D.W.I. arraignments in addition to the felony D.W.I. arraignment of Mr. Sinche.
Jay B. Peters, 27, of Darien, Conn., refused to take the breath test after being arrested, resulting in the automatic loss of his driving privileges in New York. Bail was set at $350.
John Miner, 24, of Manhattan had three friends sitting in the front row. He also had refused to take the breath test, resulting in the suspension of his license. As the justice set the bail at $350, she asked if he would be able to make it. His friends all raised their hands.
Lauren E. Loscialo, 42, of Manhattan had a reported blood alcohol count of .09. She also had bail set at $350. Adam R. King, 35, of Amagansett also refused to take the breath test, but he was released without bail.
Fausto L. Peralta, 34, of East Hampton had family in the court. Mr. Peralta had just moved the day before and did not know his new street address. He was charged with aggravated drunken driving because his count was reported at .21. The justice noted he had received eight traffic tickets. According to the police report, he tried to elude a police car, ending up on a dead-end street. Bail was set at $500.
Therese M. Jarmain, 53, of Montauk was in an accident at the intersection of Montauk Highway and Lincoln Road, which resulted in her arrest. Her count was reported to be .22, resulting in aggravated drunken driving charge. Justice Rana noted that she had two prior D.W.I. convictions, one a felony in 2001. Bail was set at $1,500. After Ms. Jarmain shook her head indicating that she would not be able to make it, from the back of the court, a man said, “She’s got the bail.”
After the final arraignment on Monday, which was of Mr. Sinche, Justice Rana shook her head. “That is a summer 2012 wrap,” she said. But, it wasn’t over.
On Tuesday morning, Louise Mayer, 50, of East Hampton appeared before Justice Rana, after refusing to take the breath test following her arrest. She was released without bail.
Before Labor Day weekend, a traffic stop at about 3 a.m. on Aug. 29 on North Main Street, East Hampton, resulted in the arrest of Karen Barnes, 54, of East Hampton and her passenger, Michael A Papetti, 22, also of East Hampton. The arresting officer not only ran a computer check on Ms. Barnes, whom he believed was intoxicated, but on her passenger. The police report said Mr. Papetti had an outstanding warrant from the New York Police Department.
Asked to step out of the car, police said, Mr. Papetti, whose pupils were contracted, became very nervous. Both arms had track marks, the signature round bruises left by a hypodermic needle, police said. As he was questioned, Mr. Papetti reached into his pocket and gave the officer a syringe and five small packets of a white powder, which later tested as heroin, the police said. A search of a bag belonging to Ms. Barnes also revealed two small packets of heroin.
In addition to Ms. Barnes’s D.W.I. charge, she and Mr. Papetti were each charged with possession of a controlled substance, as a misdemeanor. They appeared in court later that day and Justice Rana set bail for each at $500.