A Mercury seen weaving along Montauk Highway in Wainscott early on Easter Sunday led to a circuitous trip to the county jail for a Springs man, who now faces three felony charges and probable deportation.
A Montauk resident who was headed west on the highway called 911 a little after 1 a.m., saying that a white car had been swerving dangerously in and out of its lane and had just pulled into the Hess gas station. The caller, whose name was not released, followed the car into the station and waited for the police.
An East Hampton Town officer arrived moments after and found the Mercury parked by the Hess Mart. Its driver was inside, the officer was told.
As the officer began to run the license plate number, a man walked out of the market, climbed into the Mercury, and drove out of the station, turning east onto the highway without signaling. The officer pulled out behind the white sedan and began following it. It reportedly accelerated to 40 miles per hour, then slowed to a crawling 20 m.p.h., then accelerated again, repeating the process several times. As the car neared Green Hollow Road, according to the report, it drifted “halfway into the westbound lane” before swerving back across the road and onto the right shoulder.
At that point the officer activated his lights, and the Mercury pulled over on Woods Lane. Noting that the driver appeared intoxicated, the officer asked him to step out of the car, which he did, unsteadily. The officer said there was an empty can of Beck’s and an empty bottle of Heineken’s on the back seat.
Asked for identification, the driver gave his name as Diego Pizarro, and wrote it out on the officer’s notepad when asked. He was warned, as is customary, that falsely identifying oneself to the police is a crime that would result in arrest, but insisted that that was his name.
After reportedly delivering two more warnings about the consequences of lying, the officer asked to see a wallet that was sticking out of the man’s back pocket. In it he found an Ecuadorean identification card identifying him as Diego Sisalima-Carchipulla.
Police said Mr. Sisalima-Carchipulla failed roadside sobriety tests, and was arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated. He was taken back to town police headquarters in Wainscott, where his blood-alcohol content was recorded at .20 of 1 percent, making the charge a more serious one, aggravated D.W.I. A computer check, meanwhile, revealed that he had been convicted of D.W.I. twice within the last 18 months, the second time at the felony level.
At about 9 on Easter morning he was taken to East Hampton Justice Court to be arraigned. The charges against him included two class D felonies, one for drunken driving after two prior convictions within the past 10 years and the other for aggravated D.W.I., for operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol content over .18 after a previous felony D.W.I. conviction.
The third charge, a class E felony, was for unlicensed driving. Driving without a license is normally a misdemeanor, but is raised to the felony level when the driver is also charged with D.W.I.
In addition, Mr. Sisalima-Carchipulla faces misdemeanor charges of driving a car not equipped with an alcohol-sensing device, a requirement imposed following his previous convictions, and of falsely identifying himself to a police officer.
East Hampton Town Justice Catherine Cahill set bail at $30,000 cash.
Yet another misdemeanor charge was to follow. Mr. Sisalima-Carchipulla was back at headquarters, awaiting a county sheriff’s car to take him to jail in Riverside, when the owner of the white Mercury showed up and told police the car had been taken without permission. It was too late to take the defendant back to court to be arraigned on the new charge, so he spent the rest of Easter in a cell.
Back in court on Monday morning, Justice Cahill added $200 to the bail amount, informing Mr. Sisalima-Carchipulla that even were he able to post bail he would continue to be held behind bars. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency has placed a hold on him, with deportation proceedings likely before long.