Cops Make Arson Arrest in February Truck Fire

Robert B. Slowey was arraigned in East Hampton Town Justice Court on Thursday and then taken to Suffolk County jail. T.E. McMorrow

A man East Hampton Town police say set fire to a truck parked in Springs in February was arrested on Wednesday after a two-and-a-half-month investigation by town detectives and the Suffolk County Police Arson Squad.

Robert B. Slowey, 61, of Sag Harbor was taken into custody without incident at a house in Southampton where he had been staying recently, according to Detective Sgt. Dan Toia. He said Mr. Slowey had been a suspect from the beginning, given the proximity in time and distance between the fire at Jefferson Davis Eames's property on Neck Path and a crash on Town Lane in Amagansett that same day in which Mr. Slowey's Nissan truck had veered off on a sharp curve, gone down an embankment, and struck a tree.

On Feb. 7, the Amagansett Fire Department responded to Neck Path in Springs, where Elaine Daddio's 2007 Ford F550 was on fire. But within five minutes the department received a call reporting the crash on Town Lane, where Mr. Slowey's 1986 Nissan had rolled over onto the driver's side. Photographs of the scene show numerous empty beer cans strewn about. Mr. Slowey was taken to the hospital, where he reportedly refused to have blood drawn to test the level of alcohol in his blood.

It appears from the court file that the paperwork from that alleged refusal never reached East Hampton Town Justice Court, so his license had not been suspended.

On the morning of Feb. 7, Ms. Daddio had left for the store, but forgot something at home, she told The Star in February. When she returned to the house around 11:40, the truck was in flames. According to court records, police allege that Mr. Slowey applied "an open flame to an ignitable liquid in the area of the seat of a 2007 Ford F550, causing severe damage and charring the interior."

The truck was a total loss, Mr. Eames said in February. 

Mr. Slowey was arraigned on an arson charge in East Hampton Town Justice Court on Thursday and was ordered remanded to county jail without bail by East Hampton Town Justice Lisa R. Rana. 

Before this week Mr. Slowey was already facing a misdemeanor drunken driving charge stemming from the crash on Town Lane, and already had at least two felony convictions on his record, meaning bail on the new felony arson charge can only be set in county or superior court. District Attorney Tim Sini's office has until Monday to obtain an indictment against Mr. Slowey from a grand jury. Otherwise he will have to be released, as required by law.