Three Chairs and a Baseball Bat

Keen O. Rodney, who lives and works in Montauk during the summer season, faces a felony assault charge after a fight with his roommates last week. T.E. McMorrow

Keen O. Rodney, 32, who splits his time between Florida and Montauk, was arrested last week on a felony assault charge after an alleged fight with his roommates over some fish, but asserted during his arraignment last Thursday that he was in fact the victim. He was defending himself, he said, when he swung a baseball bat at Omar Godfried Deer, breaking the man’s wrist.

The fight happened at around noon on June 24. Mr. Deer told East Hampton Town detectives that he and Mr. Rodney had been roommates for the past few weeks on Second House Road, along with Mr. Deer’s nephew, George Wignel, and a fourth man, and that Mr. Rodney was “difficult to get along with.”

Mr. Wignel told police he had been scaling some fish the day before and had asked Mr. Rodney if he wanted to help, but he declined. “Since he didn’t scale the fish, he wasn’t going to eat the fish,” Mr. Wignel stated. The fight started the next day, he stated, after “my uncle said, ‘You can’t have the fish.’ ”

Mr. Rodney went out for about 10 minutes, Mr. Wignel said, and returned brandishing a baseball bat. There the stories diverged. Uncle and nephew told detectives that Mr. Rodney began swinging the bat with extreme force, first striking and damaging a freezer door, then swinging at Mr. Deer, who said his wrist was broken when he raised his arms to fend off the blow. Both men said they picked up chairs to defend themselves.

“I was the one beaten over the head with three chairs,” Mr. Rodney said in East Hampton Town Justice Court. His Legal Aid attorney said the man had been taken to the hospital, where several stitches were needed to close a large wound.

Justice Steven Tekulsky, apparently unpersuaded, set bail at $5,000 on the felony charge. Mr. Rodney was released from custody five days later with a future date in court.

Another recent arrival, Kyle Johnson, 22, was charged early on June 20 with misdemeanor assault. East Hampton Village police said Mr. Johnson was highly intoxicated when he punched his brother, Dylan Johnson, repeatedly in the head and face, knocking him backward. The brother allegedly struck his head on a table, cutting his scalp.

In court later that morning, Justice Lisa R. Rana reviewed Mr. Johnson’s record, noting previous alcohol-related brushes with the law in Georgia and South Carolina. She issued Dylan Johnson an order of protection against his brother and wrote in a clause prohibiting Kyle Johnson from drinking alcohol when at the family house.

Two days later, Kyle Johnson was again under arrest, this time for violating the no-drinking-at-the-house order. Police said he was taken to the hospital after consuming a large quantity of Captain Morgan’s rum.

At his arraignment the next day, Justice Tekulsky urged him to get help. His father, who was in the courtroom, promised that he would, and Justice Tekulsky ordered the son released without bail. He will be back in court at a future date.