A New York City man already facing a felony charge of drunken driving was arrested in Montauk Harbor Saturday evening after being stopped for speeding in a no-wake zone. Coast Guard officers charged John C. Hulme, 62, with boating while intoxicated and reckless operation of a vessel, both misdemeanors.
Mr. Hulme’s 19-foot-long Stingray, The Expedition, was reportedly clocked at 20 miles per hour through the mouth of the harbor, where the speed limit is 5 m.p.h. After his arrest, he was taken to East Hampton Town police headquarters in Wainscott, where his blood alcohol level was reportedly recorded at .11. His boat was returned to Sportsman’s Dock by Coast Guard personnel.
“Mr. Hulme,” said East Hampton Town Justice Lisa R. Rana at his arraignment Sunday morning, “weren’t you here just recently, July 17, when we learned that you had been indicted? Does that ring a bell?” Mr. Hulme was arrested in March on the driving while intoxicated charge, a felony because of a previous D.W.I. conviction. His attorney, Brian DeSesa, indicated he had been negotiating with prosecutors on that charge in criminal court in Riverside. “We were close to resolving it,” he told Justice Rana.
“You were close to resolving it,” she repeated. “Let’s talk about bail. Does anyone know you’ve been arrested?” she asked Mr. Hulme. “Not anyone who can bring money,” he replied. Bail was set at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond, which was posted.
A Springs artist had his car seized by the police and is facing a felony charge of drunken driving after allegedly sideswiping a car on Springs-Fireplace Road early Friday evening. Town police said Charles G. Waller’s 2003 Jeep sideswiped a 2012 Honda driven by a Springs woman who was slowing down to turn into a driveway.
Mr. Waller told an officer that he saw the Honda slowing and tried to brake, “but his flip-flops slipped and caused him to swerve left,” according to the accident report. The charge against him became an automatic felony due to a drunken-driving conviction two years ago.
Mr. Waller, who refused to take the breath test at headquarters, spent the night in a holding cell there and was brought to the courthouse the next morning. Trevor Darrell, his attorney, did most of the talking during his arraignment. “I told him he will likely be indicted, and it will be sent to Riverhead,” the attorney told Justice Rana, who set bail at $2,000. If it was not posted, she warned, he would be taken to the county jail in Riverside.
“How much time do we have?” a woman in the courtroom asked. Several hours, was the answer. Mr. Waller was released later that day.
Edward F. Haweeli of Springs, also charged with D.W.I., appeared in court on Sunday morning for his arraignment, with Mr. DeSesa standing in for his regular attorney, Gordon Ryan, who was unavailable.
“Mr. Haweeli was in a one-car motor vehicle accident with a telephone pole,” Mr. DeSesa told the court. The town police log shows an accident on Sycamore Drive in Springs a little after 4 a.m., the time Mr. Haweeli was arrested. At police headquarters, he took the breath test, with a reported reading of .12 of 1 percent. A college student, he was released without bail, with a nod to his roots in the community.
Several drivers arrested this past week refused to take the breath test at headquarters. Local attorneys consider this tactic, which is increasingly common, a double-edged sword. On the one hand, if someone wants to spend thousands of dollars in trial costs to possibly be found not guilty, it might be better if no blood-alcohol content reading is offered in evidence.
On the other hand, refusal to take the test results in a one-year revocation of in-state driving privileges. Also, the district attorney’s office is less likely to agree to a reduced charge in cases involving refusal. This can be particularly damaging when the reading is low enough that the charge could have been reduced to a simple violation.
Those arrested this past week who refused to take the test included Maria Benivento, 28, of West Palm Beach, Fla. The refusal resulted in her being held several additional hours by New York State troopers, who had pulled her over in Montauk. Normally, troopers release those so charged with an appearance ticket, assuming they take the test. Ms. Benivento was arraigned later that morning and released on $500 bail.
Catherine A. LaPorte, 29, of Bay Shore, also refused the test, as did David H. Elze, 32, of Amagansett. Josiah S. Kovler, 25, of Brooklyn, also declined to blow into the tube.
Town police lodged one charge of aggravated drunken driving during the week past, a charge imposed when a Breathalyzer test returns a reading of .18 or higher. Anta Rosen, who had been in Montauk working temporarily as a nanny and housekeeper, was arrested a little after midnight Sunday. Police said Brian Francese of the Legal Aid Society acted as her attorney during her arraignment Monday. Justice Rana noted that she was probably not eligible for a permanent Legal Aid attorney.
Mr. Francese asked that Ms. Rosen be released without bail, saying that she lived in North Carolina with her daughter, who is 25. “Your daughter is not an infant,” Justice Rana said. “Hire an attorney sooner rather than later.” Ms. Rosen was freed on $500 bail.
Others arrested this past week on D.W.I. charges were Delroy G. Phillips, 56, of Jamaica and East Hampton; Manuel A. Amon, 40, of Springs, Juan M. Marquina, 37, of Springs, and Kenny Flores, 25, of Bellport.
With reporting by Bella Lewis