A domestic dispute on the day after Christmas ended in the arrest of a Sag Harbor man, Nicholas V. Depetris, who, according to comments made Tuesday morning in East Hampton Town Justice Court by Rudy Migliore Jr., an assistant county district attorney, had choked Carol Payne, the mother of their child, with both hands while shoving her against the wall of a house on Hildreth Place in Springs.
East Hampton Town police were called to the house, and after interviewing both the woman and Mr. Depetris, charged him with obstruction of breathing and endangering the welfare of a minor, misdemeanors, as well as harassment, a violation. After Ms. Payne finished telling them her side of the story, police said, Mr. Depetris stated, “None of that happened. She is a liar.”
During the arraignment, Ms. Payne asked Justice Steven Tekulsky not to impose an order of protection against Mr. Depetris. Mr. Migliore then asked the court to issue a “refrain-from” order, a kind of compromise which, as opposed to a “stay-away” order, would allow Mr. Depetris to continue to see Ms. Payne, with the knowledge that any criminal conduct against her would be severely punished. Justice Tekulsky agreed, and also suspended Mr. Depetris’s firearms license.
Matt D’Amato, Mr. Depetris’s Legal Aid Society lawyer, asked that he be released without bail, saying he was a lifelong resident of the area whose only prior brush with the law had occurred when he was a teenager. Justice Tekulsky granted the no-bail request.
Anger also figured in two other recent arrests. Hugo Leonel Santos of Bridgehampton, 27, was charged with felony criminal mischief on Dec. 13 after being questioned at town police headquarters in Wainscott. About 36 hours earlier, police said, in a jealous rage, he approached his ex-girlfriend, Zoila Zhaghi-Mora, who had locked herself in a car with another man, Adrian Andres Sucunota-Pizzaros, in a parking lot off Route 114 in East Hampton.
According to police, Ms. Zhaghi-Mora, a Sag Harbor resident who has children with Mr. Santos, had been running errands with Mr. Sucunota-Pizzaros in East Hampton; they had stopped on the road after buying something to eat. Mr. Santos pulled into the lot in a pickup truck and smashed a window of their car, dented a door, and broke off the driver’s-side door handle, Mr. Sucunota-Pizzaros told police, before speeding off.
Mr. Santos denied the accusations. “I did hit the window like this,” he told detectives at headquarters, “but nothing broke. Maybe when I ripped out of the parking lot, I churned up some gravel or something.” He was released following his arraignment later that morning after being posting bail of $500..
East Hampton Village police said a victim of “road rage,” whose identity was not released, had been driving his girlfriend to work on Newtown Lane Dec. 20 when, at the intersection of Accabonac Road and Collins Avenue, the driver in front of him brandished a handgun out his window. The unidentified man slammed on the brakes and the other car drove away, then phoned police after dropping off the woman near Stop and Shop.
Armed with a description, police later spotted the car in question on Baiting Hollow Road. With the threat of an armed man inside, several officers, along with a detective and a sergeant, converged on it on Toilsome Lane. “That is considered a high-risk stop,” Capt. Mike Tracy said yesterday.
Police searched the car without incident and turned up a black pellet gun. The driver, Alec Green of Springs, reportedly told them that the car behind him had been tailgating him, so he had flashed it. He was released without bail the next morning.