After deliberating for less than 20 minutes on Tuesday, an East Hampton jury found Enrique Jarrin, 42, of East Hampton not guilty of assault in the third degree, resisting arrest, and harassment, serious charges that had been hanging over him since his arrest on Aug. 13, 2011.
Mr. Jarrin had been accused of assaulting an East Hampton Town police officer, Brian Connor, who had been on leave since the incident because of an injury he said occurred during the arrest. Officer Connor did the required paperwork after arresting Mr. Jarrin, then went home and spoke with his wife before driving to a local hospital to be treated.
Although the jury took only a short time to reach its conclusion, the trial, in East Hampton Town Justice Court, took three days. Officer Connor and two other town officers testified about the altercation that led to Mr. Jarrin’s and two other men’s arrests, outside a bar on Three Mile Harbor Road opposite Oakview Highway, which was called Lily Pond at the time. The defendant took the stand as well, along with three witnesses who spoke on his behalf. The cases of the other men arrested that night had already been adjudicated.
The scene during the melee involved several police officers and several men, and it was captured, in part, on a bystander’s smartphone. Mr. Jarrin was unaware of the video when he was arrested, but learned of it during his arraignment later that morning. He had maintained his innocence all along, according his attorney, Robert Savage, and he broke into tears as the jury forewoman read the not-guilty verdicts for all three charges.
“He was so relieved,” Mr. Savage said. “This has been on his mind for a long time.” Mr. Savage was assisted during the trial by a New York attorney, Ranah Esmaili, his daughter-in-law. Tim Flannagan, a Suffolk County assistant district attorney, prosecuted the case. During his summation, Mr. Flannagan told the jury, “It is the defendant’s choices and the defendant’s actions that led to Officer Connor’s injuries.”
The four women, two men jury found the testimony of the officers contradictory. “The inconsistencies in the testimony from the officers gave pause,” one juror said as she left the courtroom, “It was not credible,” said another.
The extent of the officer’s injury had been called into question by Mr. Savage, who pointed out that, in the video, the officer could be seen waving and using his left arm, which he said had been injured. Mr. Savage noted that the videotape did not show the entire conflict between the men, but, he said, “at no point did Mr. Jarrin appear to assault the officer. It shows a hell of a lot of context. You can try to spin it but it shows what it shows.”
Mr. Savage noted that none of the officers on the scene spoke Spanish, while Mr. Jarrin speaks almost no English.
“I certainly don’t think it would have made things worse” if there had been a Spanish-speaking officer at the scene. “I don’t think it would have hurt, let’s put it that way.”