A Mug, a Mop, Fingernails

Two women were arraigned in East Hampton Town Justice Court Monday on felony counts, one charged with assault and the other with burglary.

Elizabet C. Stahl of Larchmont, N.Y., and Montauk faces two charges of attempted assault following an alleged brawl the night of Aug. 13 at the Westlake Fish House in Montauk. Ms. Stahl, 30, was posing for a cellphone photo being taken by James McSwigin of Montauk when, according to Mr. McSwigin’s statement to East Hampton Town police, the two began arguing over its quality.

Mr. McSwigin, who told police there was another woman and a man in the picture as well, said Ms. Stahl became aggressive, approaching him several times before picking up a stainless steel mug. “She wound up and threw it with force at my head,” he claimed, before grabbing a mop and swinging it at him. He fended off the blow with his arm, her told police, and grabbed the mop. 

His statement goes on. They began to wrestle, he said, and he held her down while she dug her nails into his eyes. When the two were separated, she ran into the parking lot, he told police. Mr. McSwigin, eyes bleeding, was taken to Southampton Stony Brook Hospital, which released him after treatment.

During her arraignment, East Hampton Town Justice Steven Tekulsky remarked that this was not Ms. Stahl’s first go-round with the criminal justice system. He set bail at $750, which was posted. 

The woman’s attorney, Edward Burke Jr., disputed Mr. McSwigin’s statement to police in court Monday, and again by phone yesterday, promising that his client would fight the charges. She had cooperated with the police, he said, turning herself in on Monday at 5 a.m. as they requested. “Elizabet was protecting herself. There are several issues with this case,” the lawyer said. “We will be taking this matter to trial, with many witnesses in support of my client.”

The other woman arraigned Monday was Luisa Rea, 32, of Sag Harbor. On Sunday afternoon, according to town police, Ms. Rea entered a Northwest Woods house without permission and was confronted by a resident, Sara Palmia. A heated argument ensued. Ms. Palmia told police that Ms. Rea was jealous over her relationship with a man whom she, Ms. Rea, had been close to. and had gone out onto a balcony and begun pushing ceramic and glass pots over the edge. 

“The first flower pot fell by accident,” Ms. Rea is said to have told police. “After that, I started pushing them.” 

When Ms. Palmia told her young teenager to call the police, Ms. Rea pushed the child, according to Ms. Palmia’s statement. The charge of burglary was leveled for allegedly trespassing in a residence with intent to commit a crime. She was also charged with two counts of criminal mischief for the damage, with a misdemeanor for endangering the welfare of a child, and with two violation-level counts of harassment. 

Justice Tekulsky issued a stay-away order of protection against Ms. Rea, on behalf of Ms. Palmia and her child. Bail was set at $500 and posted. 

Stephen Grossman, Ms. Rea’s attorney, entered a denial to the felonies during the arraignment, and a not-guilty plea to all the other charges, which he promised would be fought in court.