In Court, Out of Court, and Then In Again

    An apparently troubled young man, Justin Cruz, 18, of East Hampton but with no set address, who has been in and out of East Hampton Town Justice Court, was there again on Jan. 13 and the day after, to be arraigned on separate charges. He was arrested on a bench warrant on Jan. 12 after failing three times to appear in court.
    East Hampton Town police had mounted an intensive search for Mr. Cruz back in September, after he escaped from a patrol car in handcuffs, following his arrest for possession of a stolen cellphone. He turned himself in the next day, having somehow gotten the handcuffs off in the meantime.
    He stood before Justice Catherine Cahill on Jan. 13.
    “I don’t know what to say,” she told him. “You blew off the probation interview twice. Three times, you didn’t show up in court. You were told to surrender. Sadly, that doesn’t work.”
    She set bail at $5,000, saying “Probation wanted to do that interview. Now they will have the opportunity.”
    Mr. Cruz, who has given different home addresses in court appearances over the past year, appeared stunned.
    “Five thousand dollars,” he repeated softly.
    He was to have been transferred to the county jail in Riverside that day. However, an officer said he had spotted the young man standing on a bench in his cell “picking at the paint” on the ceiling before being brought in to court, and after police examined the damage they added a misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief. Mr. Cruz was arraigned on that charge on the 14th and then taken to the county jail.
    Another man familiar to town police, Jose B. Maria-Jimenez, who has been arrested at least three times in the past nine months and jailed twice on violations of probation in the past couple of years, was arrested again last Thursday, this time for violating a court order of protection. That order, for Genesis Echabirria, followed a violent domestic attack on the woman last April.
    In September, Mr. Maria-Jimenez was charged with driving while intoxicated after a one-car accident in East Hampton. Because he has a previous D.W.I. conviction, from 2008, the charge was elevated to a felony. It awaits disposal in Justice Court.
    Last Thursday’s arrest followed a hang-up call to police reporting another domestic incident, the details of which were blacked out from the police report. Two officers went to a Clinton Avenue address, the home of Mr. Maria-Jimenez, and found him with an injured right arm. He told the officers that Ms. Echabirria, with whom he has two children, had come to the house to drop them off and had got into an argument with his mother. He then punched two of her car windows hard enough to damage them, according to the report.
    One of the officers went to interview Ms. Echabirria at her house, after which Mr. Maria-Jimenez was arrested. Police took him to Southampton Hospital, where his arm was treated for cuts and bruises.
    He was arraigned on Friday morning on two additional felony charges: criminal mischief in the third degree and criminal contempt of a court order. Bail was set at $1,000.
    Another repeat visitor to Justice Court last week was Christine Hawkins of Springs, who turned herself in at police headquarters on Friday after learning there was a warrant out for her arrest.
    The warrant was issued after Ms. Hawkins failed to make court-ordered payments stemming from her pit bull’s fatal attack on a neighbor’s Shih Tzu lapdog. The pit bull, which neighbors told police had been mistreated, was put down after the attack.
    Another arrest on a warrant may well result in the deportation of Jeremias R. Reyes of Guatemala, who was picked up by Southampton Town police on Saturday. Justice Cahill had issued the warrant after the man failed to show up for a court date in 2011, according to East Hampton Town police, who took custody of Mr. Reyes after his arrest.
    Justice Cahill, speaking to Mr. Reyes through a translator, asked him why he hadn’t appeared for his court date.
    “I was out of the country,” he replied. He told her that he had been deported.
    “Are you telling me you were deported, and you’re back here again?” she asked. “Why?”
    Mr. Reyes said he’d come back to the United States last month to visit his wife and children, who live in Hampton Bays.
    Justice Cahill then noted that his rap sheet indicated he was “a deported felon,” and said it was highly likely that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency would place a hold on him. She set bail at $10,000.
    “How much do I have to pay to leave?” he asked.
    “I said, $10,000, but because of the immigration situation, you won’t be released.”
    Mr. Reyes was taken back to police headquarters and then to jail in Riverside, where he is being held.