Machete Attack Is Alleged

An East Hampton man who allegedly struck his wife last Thursday with the blunt edge of a machete, bruising and cutting her, has been charged with felony assault.

Charmaine Forester of Accabonac Road, the wife of Donald S. Hermol, 48, told East Hampton Town police that the dispute between them had started the day before and escalated. Calling her an obscene Jamaican slang term and threatening to take her daughter away from her, he waved the machete, she said, yelling, “You want me to chop you up?” She told police she grabbed a kitchen knife in self-defense, but he swung the machete, striking her with the blunt edge on her upper arm, inflicting a three-inch gash and causing multiple bruises. She also suffered a black eye in the altercation, police said.

Mr. Hermol left the house after the incident. After Ms. Forester spoke with police, they interviewed him and determined he was at fault. He was placed under arrest on Sunday afternoon and charged, in addition to the felony, with misdemeanor menacing and illegal possession of a weapon. He was also charged with criminal mischief, police said, for grabbing his wife’s phone as she tried to call for help, and destroying it.

The district attorney’s office recommended bail be set at $10,000, East Hampton Town Justice Lisa R. Rana noted during his arraignment on Monday. His Legal Aid lawyer, Cynthia Darrell, told the court that he owns his own business, has strong connections to the community, and has moved out of the couple’s house.

Justice Rana issued a stay-away order of protection for Ms. Forester, telling Mr. Hermol he could go back to the house only once, to retrieve any personal items, and the visit had to be arranged through the police, who would be there at the appointed time. Bail was set at $1,000, and posted.

Also arrested following a domestic dispute was Carlos M. Rodriguez-Martinez, 30, of Springs. On Friday, police charged, he struck Gabriella Beltre several times with an electrical cord, punched her in the face, and then punched a bedroom door, damaging it. He was charged with misdemeanor criminal mischief for the door and simple harassment, a violation, for allegedly striking his wife.

At his arraignment Saturday, Justice Rana issued an order of protection for Ms. Beltre as well as for her mother. She warned Mr. Rodriguez-Martinez to have no contact with either woman lest he face more criminal charges.

“What if they call me?” he asked through a translator. “Don’t answer it,” Justice Rana replied.