Holiday Week Saw Many Accidents

Nine men were brought into East Hampton Town Justice Court Sunday morning in handcuffs
Nine men were brought into East Hampton Town Justice Court Sunday morning in handcuffs to be arraigned on drunken driving charges following a sweep by East Hampton Town police the night before. T.E. McMorrow

    The Fourth of July weekend was a violent one on local roads, with 57 vehicular accidents reported. Five of them involved drunken drivers, according to East Hampton Town and Village police.

    In the most serious incident, early Saturday evening on Route 114 in East Hampton, a 2003 Toyota pickup truck driven by William Hurley, 60, of Sag Harbor collided with a 2006 BMW sedan driven by Dr. Elizabeth Krimendahl, 53, whose 6-year-old son was in the car. All three were rushed to Stony Brook University Hospital, listed in serious condition; Mr. Hurley was later charged with driving while intoxicated. There is separate coverage of that crash in this issue.

    On July 3 at about 2:20 a.m., town police officers patrolling on Skimhampton Road in Amagansett found a BMW crashed into a telephone pole. Lying on the ground nearby was a resident of that street, Arthur Zeckendorf, 26, who was bleeding from his right eye. Mr. Zeckendorf was alert and spoke with police, telling them that he had not been the driver.

    Inside the wrecked car, police reported, the airbags had gone off, and there was blood on the passenger side. Running the registration, police learned that the car belonged to Ilana E. Scheinblum, 32, of New York City.

    While an ambulance took Mr. Zeckendorf to Southampton Hospital, police began to search for Ms. Scheinblum. They found her 20 minutes later standing on Indian Wells Highway opposite the Mobil station. She appeared intoxicated, according to the report, and failed roadside sobriety tests.

    At the stationhouse, she took the Intoxilyzer breath test, with a reported reading of .13. The legal limit in New York State is .08. Police said that after they read Ms. Scheinblum her Miranda rights she refused to answer questions.

    After another hour at the stationhouse, she told police she was having an anxiety attack “and needed to take her medication,” they said. She was taken to Southampton Hospital, treated, and released back to police custody. Bail was set later that morning at $500, which she posted.

    Mr. Zeckendorf has since been released from the hospital.

    A 2013 BMW that was stopped at Pantigo Road and Egypt Lane in heavy traffic headed to Montauk for the Fourth of July fireworks was rear-ended by a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee, whose driver, Amber Lee Gardner of Riverhead, 31, was ultimately charged with felony D.W.I.

    She told village police she had had “one beer” a few hours before and that her foot had slipped off the brake. At the station, her blood alcohol content was said to be .12.

    In East Hampton Justice Court the next morning, Justice Lisa Rana noted that Ms. Gardner has been convicted twice on alcohol-related charges, at least one of them for drunken driving, and has had other brushes with the criminal justice system. Bail was set at $25,000 cash.

    Unable to post bail, she had been in Suffolk County jail. She was released yesterday after no indictment was returned, with a future date in court. She appears in danger of losing her driving privileges in New York for at least 10 years, under new Department of Motor Vehicles regulations. Her Jeep was impounded by the police.

    Ms. Gardner was due back in court yesterday.

    East Hampton town and village police participated in a D.W.I. sweep here on Saturday night, with officers from the County Sheriff’s Office and Southampton Town joining to root out drunken drivers. One arrest involved a motorist who called 911 himself.

    “I fell asleep and hit a parked car,” August Moret, 44, of Greenwich, Conn., told Justice Catherine Cahill in court Sunday morning.

    Actually, said town police, he hit two cars, first sideswiping a 1999 Hyundai parked on North Main Street just south of Springs-Fireplace Road, then rear-ending a 2008 Lexus parked about 20 feet farther north. His blood test was recorded as .10.

     “Have you called anybody to tell them you’ve been arrested?” Justice Cahill asked.

    “The only number I’ve called is 911.”

    Bail was set at $500, which Mr. Moret, who told the court he was a stock trader, posted.

    A one-car crash late on the night of the Fourth, on Ocean Avenue near Main Beach, sent Kaisi Mary Faithfull, a chef on a boat moored in Gardiner’s Bay, to court on a charge of drunken driving. According to village police, her 2011 Ford Suburban bounced off a telephone pole into a tree near the parking lot by Lily Pond Lane.

    The driver, when questioned, could not remember what had happened, but told police she had had “a vodka or two throughout the night.” Her blood-alcohol level was recorded at .25, over three times the legal limit and well past the .18 level that triggers an aggravated D.W.I. charge. Her bail was set the next morning at $500, which she posted.

    An accident that followed the Montauk fireworks show brought a lesser charge, driving with ability impaired, against Stephen Mora, 25, of Hampton Bays. Town police said his 1998 Dodge pickup had rear-ended a 2009 Hyundai on Old Montauk Highway near its western merge with Route 27.

    Mr. Mora told police he had been “trying to put some music on his phone,” according to the report. At the station house, his alcohol level was under .08 but high enough for the D.W.A.I. charge.

    Because Mr. Mora’s license was found to have been revoked after a conviction on the same charge earlier this year, he was additionally hit with a felony charge of driving without a license. When a driver’s license is suspended or revoked after an alcohol-related arrest, any similar arrests result in the felony charge.

    Police released Mr. Mora on $90 bail.

    An accident that wasn’t resulted in another drunken-driving arrest. Erik F. Schwab, 24, working in Montauk for the season, just missed hitting a police officer on Edgemere Road near South Erie Street early Sunday morning, according to the police. The officer was removing an obstruction from the road at the time. Mr. Schwab’s alcohol level was said to be .18, triggering an aggravated charge. He was released later that day after posting the $500 bail set by Justice Cahill.

    Another seasonal restaurant worker, Justin P. Dent, 29, of Sag Harbor was also charged with aggravated D.W.I., as well as possession of marijuana, during Saturday night’s sweep. He posted $350 bail the next morning.

    Also arrested in the sweep were James D. Stanton, 54, a real estate developer from New York and Wainscott; Michael Milyavsky, 38, an environmentalist from Yorktown Heights, N.Y.; Robert Chitel, 70, a clothing manufacturer of New York and Florida; Ronald Weiss, 52, of Montauk, who is in the motel industry; William F. Balsamo, 53, a writer from Stony Brook, and Fredrick J. Windisch, 64, a municipal worker from Springs.

    The following unlucky 13 were also arrested last week: Zachary L. Prince, 26, of New York, Susan P. Gullia, 81, of Amagansett,  Daniel Richard Ogara, 53, of Islip, Cathy Ann Carron, 62, of New York City, Rosemary Schwehr, 47 of East Hampton, Kelly L. Framel, 29, of Brooklyn, Wojceich M. Gil, a young seasonal worker from Poland, Troy Roccanello, 40, of Hartford, Conn., Charna K. Weissman, 30, of New York City, Alyssa Mahoney, 25, of New York City, Michael Anthony Herd, 25, of Tyler, Tex., Stephanie Wade, 44, of East Hampton, and Tess Ramirez of New York City.

    At 2 a.m. on Monday, town police made their final D.W.I. arrest of the week, that of Rodrigo C. Tasca, 27, of West Palm Beach, Fla.