One town police officer pulled over two cars driven by employees of the same Montauk restaurant on Sunday morning and arrested both drivers. One was charged with felony drunken driving, the other with driving with ability impaired by drugs.
Officer David E. Martin Jr. was in the parking lot of the Montauk train station a little before 11 a.m. when he saw a 2013 Nissan pull out of the lot by Ciao, a new restaurant where its driver, Matthew R. DiGirolomo, 22, of Whitestone, is employed as a waiter. It turned right onto Edgemere Street without stopping at a stop sign or signaling, the officer reported. The Nissan was followed immediately by a 2014 Jeep Wrangler, which, said Officer Martin, committed the same traffic infractions. The Wrangler’s driver, also a waiter at Ciao, was Kenneth A. Willox, 28, of Lindenhurst.
The officer stopped both cars on Industrial Road and questioned the two men, joined now by Officer Timothy Lamprecht. Mr. Willox reportedly stated that “I had some shots last night, but that was last night.” He allegedly failed roadside sobriety tests, resulting in his arrest.
Back at Wainscott headquarters, his blood-alcohol content was said to be .17 of 1 percent, over twice the .08 legal threshold.
Mr. DiGirolomo also failed the roadside tests, the officers said, but for a different reason: His car smelled of marijuana smoke. He was found to be in possession of the drug, and of a glass pipe as well. The charge of impairment against him is a misdemeanor; the possession charge is a violation.
The legal stakes for the two men, who spent almost 24 hours in separate holding cells, are very different. East Hampton Town Justice Steven Tekulsky noted at Mr. Willox’s arraignment that he had been convicted of D.W.I. in 2007, making the new charge a felony.
Mr. Willox’s parents were seated in the courtroom. Justice Tekulsky set bail at $2,500, which the parents indicated they would post.
“You’re very fortunate that your parents are here to support you, and are willing to put their money where their hearts are,” the justice said.
Mr. DiGirolomo was next. “This appears to be your first involvement with the criminal justice system,” Justice Tekulsky observed as he considered bail. Mr. DiGirolomo told him he had $400 back at the police station. Justice Tekulsky set bail at $1,000, noting that Mr. DiGirolomo had scant ties to the community. “Is somebody going to be able to post the additional 600?” he asked.
“No,” answered the defendant.
“You’re going to have to make some phone calls.”
The calls were apparently made; bail was posted.
The men are the second and third members of the restaurant’s staff to have been arrested this month on similar charges.
Following a Saturday-night accident on Napeague that sent a motorcycle rider to Stony Brook University Hospital, Jason Monet, 43, of Stamford, Conn., was charged by East Hampton Town police with driving while intoxicated. Sidney Hughes of Montauk sustained severe leg injuries, according to a friend.
Mr. Monet was released on $1,000 bail after arraignment in East Hampton Town Justice Court on Sunday, the same day Mr. Hughes underwent the first of what doctors have warned the family will be several surgeries, said Justin Portell, a fellow member of Enders MC, a South Fork motorcycle club.
According to Mr. Portell, Mr. Hughes was eastbound at about 10 p.m., traveling at about 55 miles per hour, when Mr. Monet’s westbound 2013 BMW veered across the road in front of him. “He never had a chance,” Mr. Portell said.
The BMW wound up in a motel parking lot on the south side of the highway. Mr. Monet and a female passenger, Kadria Idris Sadik-Khan, were not hurt in the accident.
Mr. Monet told the police he had had only one beer, and blamed the accident on an argument he and Ms. Sadik-Khan were having, according to the court file. “I went to turn into the hotel parking lot and didn’t see the guy on the motorcycle,” he told police.
After his arrest Mr. Monet was taken to town police headquarters in Wainscott, where he refused to submit to a breath test.
“Something should be done. That is ridiculous,” Mr. Portell said on Sunday from the hospital, upset that Mr. Monet faces only a single charge of misdemeanor driving while intoxicated. Robert Clifford, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota, said Monday that the matter was under investigation. Mr. Monet is due back in court on July 24.
Also charged with drunken driving last week was a Northwest Woods man, Brian P. O’Reilly, 52, who was found late Saturday night on Route 114 behind the wheel of a 2012 Jeep Wrangler with the transmission in drive and the engine running.
Michael D. McLoughlin, 22, of Springs was stopped on June 17 on Montauk Highway near Spring Close Highway. Police reported the smell of marijuana inside his 2003 Chevrolet, and Mr. McLoughlin allegedly failed field sobriety tests. Charged with ability impaired by drugs, he was released without bail by Justice Lisa R. Rana the next morning.