An East Hampton man is being held in Suffolk County jail in Riverhead after his arrest on a felony assault charge early Saturday evening.
An East Hampton Town police officer allegedly saw Brian E. Castillo, 33, assaulting a woman near Hampton Oak, an apartment complex at 515 Pantigo Road in East Hampton, where he lives with his mother. Four charges were brought against the man, including second-degree felony assault, which is leveled in connection with an attempt to cause serious injury with a weapon. The weapon in question was a lit cigarette, which police say Mr. Castillo pushed into the woman’s face, burning her.
When confronted, Mr. Castillo fought with the officer, according to the police. Two more officers were called in to help handcuff him and get him into a squad car.
Police said he then began kicking the window and door of the car, damaging both.
Once at police headquarters, Mr. Castillo was additionally charged with felony violation of a court order of protection, held by the woman he was said to have beaten. Police are withholding the name of the 27-year-old woman, whom Mr. Castillo was said to have recently married.
The order of protection was issued in Central Islip by County District Justice C. Ann Spellman after Mr. Castillo was charged in February with unlawful imprisonment and harassment, among other misdemeanors. The same woman was said to have been the victim at that time.
On Saturday morning, Mr. Castillo was brought to East Hampton Justice Court to be arraigned. He was being held in a side room, guarded by an officer wearing black leather gloves for protection, when his alleged victim entered the courthouse. Her face showed a large welt on the right cheekbone.
She could be heard speaking with Justice Lisa Rana. “It makes no sense,” she said.
Justice Rana read the order of protection, as issued by Justice Spellman, aloud to her. “If you feel the order of protection needs to be changed, you can’t do it on your own,” she said. “You can contact the D.A. . . . What are you to do if he comes at you again?”
The woman hesitated for a moment. “I have to call the cops,” she replied quietly. She then left the building.
Mr. Castillo, who has been charged with resisting arrest at least three times in the past four years, was then brought into the courtroom by the gloved officer, and Justice Rana read out the charges against him. Besides the two felonies, he was charged with criminal mischief and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors.
“Are you working?” the court inquired.
“Not right now.”
“You have a significant criminal history. I sent you to jail in 2009 for six months,” said Justice Rana, after convicting him of resisting arrest, falsely reporting an incident, and driving with ability impaired. She then read out a list of Mr. Castillo’s prior arrests and convictions, most of them misdemeanors except for a felony arrest in Miami in 2005. The justice ended by reading a series of charges he currently faces in various metropolitan-area jurisdictions, finishing with “Your New Jersey charges — terroristic threats.”
She set bail at $70,000, and handed the officer the paperwork to accompany the prisoner to Suffolk County jail.
“Summer begins,” said the officer.
Mr. Castillo is due back in court today.
Justice Rana’s busy string of arraignments earlier this week included another alleged weapons violation on Monday, when she set $300 bail for a 21-year-old Montauk man, Andy M. Cuello-Gonzalez. He was arrested on Sunday evening following a disturbance at an apartment on Duryea Avenue in Montauk, where he lives with two brothers, and charged with three counts of menacing as well as two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, both misdemeanors.
The incident reportedly involved his downstairs neighbors, for whom Justice Rana issued an order of protection. Mr. Cuello-Gonzalez had allegedly acted in a threatening manner while brandishing a stainless-steel knife.
Justice Rana told the young man she would give him a Legal Aid referral after learning that his seasonal job as a cook at a Montauk restaurant had not yet begun.
“He’d like to know if he can go back to his house?” a translator, Tania Valverde, asked the court.
“You’ll have to have your brother retrieve whatever items you want,” the justice told the handcuffed man.