Arrests Climb as Holiday Approaches

    There were 14 arrests in East Hampton Town in the past week on charges of drunken driving or driving with ability impaired by drugs, two of them happening after accidents, and four others involving felony charges. Sag Harbor police were equally busy, making four arrests on similar charges, a high number for that jurisdiction.

    For the second time in three weeks, Boris X. Penaloza-Alpala, 22, of Springs was arrested on drunken-driving charges, leading to a stern dressing-down from East Hampton Town Justice Lisa Rana at his arraignment.

    He was first charged, on June 6, with aggravated drunken driving after a blood-alcohol reading of .21, well over the .18 level that triggers the elevated charge. Early Sunday morning, after being stopped for speeding on Springs-Fireplace Road in East Hampton, he again failed roadside sobriety tests. This time his alcohol level was said to be .17.

    According to state law, the charge became an automatic felony since his license was suspended after the first arrest and he was again charged with D.W.I. Mr. Penaloza-Alpala is now in danger of losing his driving privileges in New York State for anywhere from five years to life, under new regulations covering D.W.I. arrests and convictions.

    Besides last month’s two arrests, according to police, he has been convicted of D.W.A.I.

    Mr. Penaloza-Alpala’s father was in the courtroom as Justice Rana read the list of new charges against his son: D.W.I., unlicensed driving, crossing lane lines, driving an uninsured car, and two equipment infractions.

    The young man, a restaurant worker, had smiled when he saw his father in the courtroom. His demeanor changed when Justice Rana set bail at $5,000.

    “You seem so surprised,” she said to the handcuffed man. “You think that this is a joke? This is no joke.”

    She asked the father if he was going to be able to make bail. “I don’t know,” he replied.

    “If you get out,” she warned the defendant before he was led away, “and I find out you’re driving, it will be a very bad day for you.”

    “I understand,” he answered.

    Another man who could be banned from driving in the state for the rest of his life was arraigned on Monday morning.
“You have three prior alcohol-related convictions,” Justice Rana told Scott W. Edler, 34, of Orangeburg, N.Y. “One was a class D felony, I believe. There was a driving with ability impaired in 1999, a D.W.I. in 2003, and operating under the influence in Massachusetts in 2007.”

    The man, who works in construction, had been pulled over a little after midnight on Amagansett Main Street. East Hampton Town police said he was speeding and swerving across lane lines. His blood-alcohol level was reported to be .13.

    Justice Rana told the handcuffed man that Maggie Bopp, an assistant county district attorney, had asked that bail be set at $10,000. Robert Savage, an attorney who was in the courthouse that morning, argued for a lower bail amount.

    “Ten thousand dollars,” the justice repeated. “Can you make it?” she asked Mr. Edler’s wife. “I don’t know,” she answered. “I have to make a phone call.”

    Police seized the car Mr. Edler was driving. If it is registered to his wife, it will eventually be returned to her. However, if it is registered to Mr. Edler, and he is convicted of the current charge, the county will take possession of it and auction it off.

    In neighboring Water Mill, a New Hyde Park man, Jeffrey W. Lawrence, 35, was arrested early Sunday and charged with leaving the scene of an accident as well as drunken driving. Southampton Town police said he hit a bicyclist and drove away. He was located a short time later and arrested.

    The bicyclist was taken to Southampton Hospital, treated for minor injuries, and released.

    Another driver whose car was seized following her arrest on a felony charge was Marie V. Hayden of Amagansett, who was stopped by East Hampton Village police in midmorning of June 26, for allegedly swerving across Main Street and riding on the shoulder. She has a previous D.W.I. conviction in 2010 in East Hampton Justice Court.

    Ms. Hayden, who told the arresting officer she had taken Trazadone and Klonopin to help her sleep, consented to a blood test after the arrest. Bail was set at $500.

    A Montauk woman, Emma Poli, 20, was pulled over on West Lake Drive there early last Thursday after allegedly crossing lane lines. She was ultimately charged not only with drunken driving but with possession of a forged instrument, a felony, apparently involving the Pennsylvania license she presented. Her bail was set at $500.

    On June 26, again on West Lake Drive, town police found Luke Garofano of Pound Ridge, N.Y., standing by a car that had crossed the road and hit a tree. His alcohol level was said to be .19, meaning he faces an aggravated D.W.I. Bail was set the next morning at $500.

    A College Station, Tex., man trying to back out from a parking spot at the Memory Motel in Montauk early Saturday accidentally hit a parked car behind him, according to police, who said the driver, Rolando M. Rodriguez, 43, failed field sobriety tests. He refused to take the stationhouse breath test, which resulted in the immediate suspension of his license. His bail was set at $300.

    Peter Weiler, 21, of Valley Stream was reportedly speeding just after midnight on June 26 when police pulled him over on Route 27 in Montauk near the overlook. He wound up facing a charge of ability impaired by drugs, and bail was set last Thursday morning at $350.

    Others arrested by town police on D.W.I. charges were Alejo N. Lopez, 45, of Shelter Island; Gregory Baker, 26, of Northport; Mauricio Bahamondes, 34, of East Hampton; William P. Jung, 24, of Alvin, Tex.; Manuel I. Xol, of East Hampton, and Steven Carbo, of Mineola. East Hampton Village police charged Edgar H. Escobar, 46, of Englewood, N.J., as well.

    The four Sag Harbor arrests included that of Jose Gaspar Lorenzo, 27, of East Hampton, who police said drove into the front yard of a Hampton Street house early Sunday morning. At about the same time, and just two blocks away, Anthony Roberts, 41, of Sag Harbor was pulled over for erratic driving, leading to his arrest on a drunken-driving charge.

    Also arrested in the Harbor during the week were Paul J. Dascenzo, 39, of Northwest Woods, and Michael J. Schmitz, 46, of Springs, both charged with drunken driving.