East Hampton Town police have made three arrests over the past two weeks, including two charging physically abusive felonies, in separate incidents involving residents of Phoenix House, a drug treatment facility in Wainscott.
On Nov. 26, Kevin A. Gomez, 17, who has been at Phoenix House since July, was charged with felony assault in the second degree after allegedly throwing a metal chair from about five feet away at another resident. The charge entails use of a “deadly weapon or dangerous instrument” with the intent to cause or causing injury.
The incident reportedly began as a practical joke. The youth told police he had pulled a chair out from under Justin Saloman as he was sitting down for breakfast, causing him “to fall on his butt.”
“Everyone was laughing,” he said during questioning.
The alleged victim reported having shoved the metal chair, in retaliation, back at his tormentor, who, “standing five feet from me, picked it up, looked at me, and threw the chair at my head, and it hit me in the mouth.”
Bleeding, the 20-year-old was taken to Southampton Hospital with a loose tooth and a badly lacerated lip that will require plastic surgery.
The Gomez youth pleaded not guilty in East Hampton Justice Court the next morning. Justice Catherine A. Cahill imposed bail of $900 and he was released after it was posted.
He told police that he too wanted to press charges, but as yet no charges have been brought against Mr. Saloman. Police reportedly have in their custody a video surveillance tape of the incident.
Three days earlier, Andrew J. Horan, 19, originally of Northport, walked into a Hess station near Phoenix House and walked out with two 18-packs of Budweiser without paying. “I chose Budweiser, and not Bud Light, because it is better,” he told police, according to court records.
The manager of the gas station followed the young man to the sand pits behind Home Sweet Home and gave police his description.
“I put it in the woods because I wanted it for football Sunday,” Mr. Horan told police, after they went to Phoenix House and arrested him.
In court the next morning, he was apologetic to Justice Cahill. She asked him how he had been doing at the drug treatment center.
“Fine. Until now,” he answered. She released him without bail.
On Nov. 17, as reported here earlier, town police arrested Joseph M. Cardinali, 16, charging him with aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree, along with a misdemeanor assault charge. Police said the teenager had sodomized another resident at the drug treatment center that afternoon, with a broomstick. He remains at the county jail in Riverside in lieu of $250,000 bail.