Tennis Pro Charged Again

A local tennis pro was arrested in Sag Harbor early Sunday morning on a drunken-driving charge, his third such in a little more than two years and the second in four months.

Sag Harbor police said they stopped Kiril P. Tcherveniachki, 28, on Bay Street after watching him drive erratically across the North Haven bridge. He failed roadside sobriety tests, police said, and “would not properly take the breath prescreen test” or the Intoxilyzer 9000 test at headquarters.

Mr. Tcherveniachki, director of tennis at Mashashimuet Park in Sag Harbor for the past five years, was first charged with driving while intoxicated on Aug. 19, 2012. The misdemeanor charge was reduced to driving with ability impaired by alcohol, a less serious count that nevertheless remains permanently on one’s driving record.

His next arrest was on April 22, when police found him passed out behind the wheel of his car, its engine running, yards from his house. He did take the breath test that time and recorded a blood-alcohol reading of .25 of 1 percent, over three times the legal limit.

His license was suspended following that arrest, and because of the suspension he now faces a felony charge of unlicensed driving as well as a second D.W.I. charge. The State Department of Motor Vehicles is likely to revoke his driving privileges for between 5 and 10 years if he is convicted of the D.W.I. charges.

Under Suffolk County law, the car he was driving on Sunday was impounded. If it is his own car, the county will move to seize it permanently.

Mr. Tcherveniachki, who was born in Bulgaria and grew up in New Zealand, was ranked as a teenager in the top 50 on the ITF Junior Circuit and later achieved a world ranking as a professional, according to his biography on Annacone Tennis Management, which runs tennis clubs in resorts from New York State to Naples, Fla. He is listed as the company’s director of tennis.

East Hampton Town police made six D.W.I. arrests this past week, all of them in Montauk. One man, a 19-year-old from Springs, raised both the concern and the ire of East Hampton Town Justice Lisa R. Rana at his arraignment on Monday.

The youth, James B. Leland, was pulled over on West Lake Drive at midnight Sunday for swerving and driving over a curb, according to police. His breath test was reported at .18, triggering an aggravated misdemeanor charge.

 “I am very unhappy to see you again,” Justice Rana told him, noting that he has already, at his young age, served four months in county jail, where he took part in an alcohol treatment program. She set bail at $400.

“I need my license,” Mr. Leland said, asking for a hardship privilege. Justice Rana said she was not inclined to give him one, explaining that she considered him a risk. A hardship license enables the holder to drive to and from work, but nowhere else.

“Why am I a risk?” Mr. Leland asked. “Why?” Justice Rana answered, “Because you had an alleged .18. Why? Because you served four months. Why? Because you have a long history here. You have been in front of East Hampton Justice Court before me and before Judge Cahill. Do you want any more whys? I want you here —” she stopped speaking as Mr. Leland closed his eyes and lowered his head. “Hey!” Justice Rana said. “This Thursday.”

He is due back in court today.

Another of those arrested in Montauk refused to take the breath test, promising officers that he was “going to take this to trial.”

Robert E. VanVelsor III of Montauk, 27, was pulled over on Route 27 west of town early last Thursday; police said he had failed to dim his headlights for oncoming cars. Back at headquarters he was asked several times to take the test.    “I’m not blowing,” he reportedly answered the first time. Asked again, according to police, he said “I’m not blowing. I’m going to take this to trial. I’m not going to blow.” At the third request, the officer said Mr. VanVelsor simply shook his head no.

Represented by his attorney, Tina Piette, Mr. VanVelsor was arraigned before Justice Steven Tekulsky later that morning. Rob Archer, an assistant district attorney, told the court the defendant had been convicted of criminal mischief in 2008, but Justice Tekulsky, noting Mr. VanVelsor’s roots in the community, released him without bail. His driver’s license was automatically suspended for the next year.

Heather Amber Parajon, 25, of Royal Palm Beach, Fla., was also charged early last Thursday after allegedly failing to dim her headlights, and she too declined to take the breath test. “I refuse. I know my rights,” she told the police. Ms. Parajon, who is working in Montauk for the season, posted the $500 bail set by Justice Tekulsky.

The other drivers arrested in Montauk last week were Jennifer L. Maguire, 41, of New York City, Paul J. Stein, 49, of Montauk, and Scott M. Francis, 28, also of New York.


In the print edition of this story, Kiril P. Tcherveniachki was identified as the head tennis pro at the Montauk Yacht Club. He does not work for the yacht club, according to Lloyd Van Horn, the club's general manager.