He Would Rather Be in Jail

A man who told East Hampton Town Justice Steven Tekulsky that “I’m not homeless. I live outside,” has spent the last few days in the county jail, charged by East Hampton Village police with trespassing.

Joseph Volper, 58, approached an officer early Friday morning, saying he thought he had left his belt and a blue blanket in a house near Hook Mill. He led the officer to the house, saying he had entered it “through a front side door that was partially open,” the officer reported, and, once inside, had “played his portable stereo” and fallen asleep on a couch. He was awakened by the sound of dogs barking in the house, he said, and fled.

The residents of the house said they had seen a man outside it but were not aware he had actually gone in.

In court later that morning, Justice Tekulsky asked the man several times if he understood what was going on. Mr. Volper answered yes each time.

“I note you’ve had a number of arrests, at least five, and one misdemeanor conviction in Schenectady,” Justice Tekulsky said, as he set bail at $2,500.

“Yeah, I’m guilty,” Mr. Volper responded.

“I don’t want you to talk about the case. This proceeding is being recorded. Anything you say can be used by the prosecution against you,” Justice Tekulsky said. “No problem,” Mr. Volper answered, but he continued to talk. “The public is very dangerous. I went inside because I didn’t want to get hurt.”

“You would rather be in jail?”

“You better believe it, yeah. It’s dangerous out there.”

Justice Tekulsky told Mr. Volper he would be returned to court today, at which time he would be able to speak with a Legal Aid Society attorney.

“I don’t need an attorney. I’m guilty.”

“Shhh. I’m trying to protect you.”

“I’m a medical doctor. There is nothing wrong with me,” Mr. Volper said as he was led away.

Outside Montauk’s Memory Motel early Friday, an officer attempting to write out a summons for a woman for having an open container of alcohol and littering ended up arresting a Montauk man on misdemeanor charges.

East Hampton Town police said the man, Toby J. Logue, 39, began screaming and cursing at the officer. Told to take off, he said “I’m not going anywhere” and continued to shout obscenities.

As officers tried to arrest him he kicked one in the groin and shoved another before being subdued. He spent the rest of the morning in a holding cell until he being arraignment, when he was released without bail but with a future date in court.

East Hampton Town Justice Court has reached a milestone this summer, of sorts. Due to the heavy volume of arrests on criminal charges, many of them felonies involving indigent defendants, the Legal Aid Society has assigned an attorney, Brian Francese, to be on call daily.