Off to Jail With Some Luck on His Side

A local man went to East Hampton Justice Court last Thursday knowing that when he left the building he would be in handcuffs, headed for the county jail in Riverside to serve a six-month jail sentence.

Raymond A. DeSalvo of East Hampton, 54, had been arrested for driving while intoxicated three times last summer within a period of weeks, twice in East Hampton Town and once in Southampton. The Southampton charge was dropped, along with a felony count of drunken driving while his license was suspended, in return for his guilty plea to the two East Hampton charges.

When Justice Steven Tekulsky called his name, Mr. DeSalvo stood up and embraced a man who had accompanied him to the courthouse. After he pleaded guilty, a court guard handcuffed him. He looked back. “Call Kathleen,” he mouthed, then made a fist with his right hand and tapped his heart, expressing gratitude to the friend who had stood by him, before being led away.

Cynthia Darrell, Mr. DeSalvo’s Legal Aid Society attorney, said this week that her client had some luck on his side last Thursday, in that a place was available for him in New York State’s Stop-D.W.I. program at the jail. That is not always the case, she said.

The program is aimed at reducing recidivism. Those who take part, though still housed, she said, in “a maximum-security county jail,” are segregated from the general population and receive counseling throughout their stay. “The primary purpose,” Ms. Darrell said, “is to get the inmates treatment.” Mr. DeSalvo, she said, had participated in alcohol-treatment programs since his last arrest.

East Hampton Town police made two D.W.I. arrests last week. Both the drivers, Angel G. Bergara-Chimbo, 28, of Springs, and Manuel Leon, 46, of East Hampton, are natives of Cuenca,  Ecuador, and both work for the same local landscaping company. They were arrested within a few minutes and a few miles of each other on Saturday night, at about 8.

It was the younger man’s first arrest. Police said his blood-alcohol level was .17 of 1 percent, over twice the legal limit. Justice Lisa R. Rana set bail for him the next morning at $500.

Mr. Leon’s arraignment presented a bit more of a challenge. He had refused to take the breath test at police headquarters the night before, and was convicted in 2006 of driving with ability impaired. Also, he uses several names, leaving the court to determine which was the right one.

Speaking through a telephone translator, Mr. Leon said he had been in this country for 17 years and was in the process of getting his citizenship. After he gave his full name as Manuel Jesus Leon Japa, the translator began to explain that many Latinos use the family name of both mother and father. Justice Rana cut her off, thanking her but noting that she is well aware of the practice. Bail for Mr. Leon was similarly set at $500.

Sag Harbor Village police arrested a Sag Harbor resident just before midnight on April 22, after receiving a call that a car had been stopped for a long time on the wrong side of Fordham Road.

Officers reported finding Kiril P. Tcherveniachki, originally from Bulgaria, passed out behind the wheel, just yards from his Fordham Road house, with the car in gear, engine running, and his foot on the brake pedal. Back at the station house, his blood-alcohol level registered .25, according to police, over three times the legal level. He faces a misdemeanor charge of aggravated drunken driving.

Justice Andrea Schiavoni released Mr. Tcherveniachki the next morning without making him post bail, but with a future date in court.