Sag Harbor Village police arrested a Bridgehampton man Friday on charges that he assaulted a couple and endangered the welfare of a child. It was at least the third time that William J. Walker, 32, has been arrested in the past two years, and the second time he has been charged with assault.
The latest incident reportedly began with an argument between Mr. Walker and his girlfriend, Melissa Scarlato, at their residence. After she left for work at the Sag Harbor Inn, police said, he followed her, putting their 10-month-old in his car.
Leaving the baby in the car, Mr. Walker found Ms. Scarlato, and the argument resumed. Mr. Walker was said to be intoxicated at the time.
When a friend of Ms. Scarlato’s, Courtney Healy Laserna, tried to calm things down, Mr. Walker punched her in the head with a closed fist, police said, knocking her down. Her husband, Cesar Laserna, came to the defense of his wife and received a punch in the face as well. Police said that blow may have broken Mr. Laserna’s nose. He was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment.
In December 2011, after an investigation following a brawl at the Sloppy Tuna in Montauk that August, East Hampton Town police also accused Mr. Walker of assault, saying he and two other men had beaten up three opponents, putting all three in the hospital, one with a fractured orbital bone. The month before, Mr. Walker had been charged by town police with leaving the scene of an accident.
Both those charges are still pending, and will be heard by Justice Catherine Cahill next Thursday when Mr. Walker is scheduled to appear in justice court.
Last week’s charges of assault and endangerment are misdemeanors. Sag Harbor Village Justice Andrea Schiavoni released Mr. Walker without bail.
An assault charge has been lodged against a Montauk man after a street fight in the hamlet in June. Town police held off releasing a report of the incident, which had possible racial overtones, apparently because they were still investigating it.
Michael J. Poli, 20, and James M. Bagetti, 21, both of Montauk, were in a group of youths walking on South Edison Street a little before 4 a.m., police said, on June 23, a Sunday, when one of the group hurled a sneaker at a passing car.
The driver stopped and the occupants, young Latinos, got out. “The two defendants used racial slurs, and a physical altercation broke out,” the report reads.
Mr. Bogetti’s attorney, Gordon Ryan, whose office is in Montauk, gives a different account. According to Mr. Ryan, the car had “buzzed” the group of youths as they were walking, after which one of them threw the sneaker. He said on Tuesday that his client was attacked, and was acting in self-defense.
Town police, who have several officers stationed in downtown Montauk on weekends during the season, responded quickly. When they arrived, Mr. Bogetti was punching and kicking a downed man, and Mr. Poli was punching another man, the report says. Police warned the two to stop, but the fight continued, until an officer used pepper spray, hitting Mr. Poli in the face.
Both men were placed under arrest. Mr. Poli was charged with disorderly conduct and physical harassment, violations; Mr. Bogetti was hit with a misdemeanor charge of assault as well as disorderly conduct. Mr. Poli was released from the Montauk precinct station without bail. Mr. Bogetti was asked to post $200 bail, which he did.
Town detectives interviewed everyone involved, speaking to the man Mr. Bogetti allegedly assaulted while he was still in the hospital. According to Mr. Ryan, county prosecutors did look into the matter as a possible hate crime, but decided not to pursue it.
Last year, in a similar incident, four men from Puerto Rico were arrested in downtown Montauk after a massive early-morning brawl and charged with felony assault and rioting, among other charges. Those cases are still being adjudicated.
A 19-year old East Hampton man was arrested early Saturday morning on charges of criminal mischief and trespassing after a resident of Underwood Drive in Springs was awakened at about 5 a.m. Mario A. Olaya had walked into the house through the unlocked front door, police said, and opened a bedroom door, when he was confronted by the homeowner. Mr. Olaya reportedly told the man he “needed a place to chill.”
As the resident escorted the youth out the front door, he spotted an unfamiliar red pickup truck in his driveway, with another young man asleep inside. The homeowner went back in the house and locked all the doors.
Mr. Olaya then tried to get back in, allegedly breaking a screen door in the process. The owner called police, who arrived to find Mr. Olaya sitting on the front porch. He was released later that morning without bail, but with a date on the justice court criminal calendar. It was not clear from the report, which is redacted, whether Mr. Olaya knew the homeowner.
A Montauk man was charged with resisting arrest and physical harassment early Friday morning after an incident at the 668 Gig Shack on Montauk Main Street. Police responding to a reported disturbance at about 2:30 a.m. found the doors of the restaurant open and tables upended. Standing behind the bar was Christopher Fallon, 25, who according to the report was hurling bar glasses against the wall, smashing them.
When Mr. Fallon saw the officers “he became angry and started to curse” before walking away and crossing Main Street, despite police orders to stand still. When an officer tried to stop him he began to “flail his arms,” the report says, and it took two officers to subdue him.
Mr. Fallon was arraigned later that morning and released without bail.