Just hours after the annual East Hampton Artists and Writers Softball Game, another rite of summer took place: the annual East Hampton anti-drunken driving sweep in which several police departments participate.
The four-hour sweep, between 11 p.m. Saturday and 3:30 a.m. Sunday, netted seven drivers, five of whom were out-of-towners. The majority were well-dressed young professionals, wearing country casual, and they arrived in handcuffs at East Hampton Town Justice Court, where Justice Catherine Cahill presided over the arraignments.
Some of the fields the defendants worked in were advertising, health, the pharmaceutical industry, and film. Three were women, who were held overnight in East Hampton Village police headquarters on Cedar Street; the men were held in town police headquarters in Wainscott.
On a normal Sunday, the court is closed, except for arraignments. Bail has to be posted back at police headquarters, meaning that defendants take another trip in the back of a patrol car in handcuffs. However, in preparation for the sweep, Justice Cahill’s court clerk, Jennifer Anderson, had set up a table where she could accept bail in the detention area.
The women were brought in first. Seated together were Britany N. Kirkes of Boston and Renee Appelle of New York. Ms. Kirkes was visibly distraught, and Ms. Appelle tried to cheer her. Strangers a few hours earlier, they seemed to have bonded. Seated by herself was Jacinta A. Nagler, 41, also of New York, who was the first to face Justice Cahill. A local attorney, Robert Savage, appeared with her.
The justice asked Ms. Nagler what her connection was to East Hampton, which often is a factor in setting bail. “I summer here. I rent a year-round share house,” Ms. Nagler said. After being stopped for an alleged traffic violation in Amagansett, police reported her blood alcohol content was .09 of 1 percent, just above the .08 threshold for intoxication. Bail was set at $350, which she met.
Ms. Kirkes, 28, was next. Trevor Darrell, who was on hand to represent one of the men arrested, stood in for the remainder of the morning, acting as temporary attorney for most of the remaining defendants.
Ms. Kirkes had allegedly committed several traffic violations before she pulled into the dirt parking lot at Solé East on Second House Road in Montauk, and was arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated. Her driving privileges were suspended by Justice Cahill, pending a Department of Motor Vehicles hearing, because police said she refused to take a breath test at headquarters.
Setting bail for Ms. Kirkes, who was visiting Montauk for the weekend, proved a bit of a challenge. Only cash is accepted for bail, and she had left all her possessions in her car, which was back at the her motel. After a brief back and forth between the justice and Mr. Darrell, she was released without bail. Justice Cahill cautioned her not to miss any court appearances.
Ms. Appelle, who will be 33 on Sunday, had recently moved from Woodcliff Lake, N.J., to New York City, She was represented by a New York attorney, who also had been visiting Montauk for the weekend. Ms. Appelle was arrested after a traffic stop on Old Montauk Highway in Montauk. She, too, refused to take a breath test at headquarters.
“My understanding is, she was the designated driver,” the New York attorney said. The attorney said the defendant was not drinking, because she was watching her calories, with an October wedding on the horizon.
“She was nervous. She’s never had a violation. She’s never been questioned by the police,” the attorney said, in apparent explanation of Ms. Appelle’s reported lack of coordination when taking the field sobriety tests. The attorney asked for her to be released without bail, but Justice Cahill demurred, setting it at $200. “She has no connections to East Hampton,” the justice said.
The arrest reports for Ms. Appelle and Ms. Kirkes noted unsteadiness when the women got out of their cars before being arrested. Both were wearing high platform heels in court. It is not possible to tell from the redacted reports whether they had them on when they stepped out of their cars.
Two of the men arrested were friends from New Jersey. They also were arrested in Montauk, 20 minutes apart, after attending the same gathering. Each was pulled over for reported traffic infractions on Main Street.
Jonathan D. Pepe, 28, of Hoboken, and John A. Burnett, 25, of Weehawken, were arrested on drunken driving charges at around 2 a.m. Each man took the breath test, which showed them to have relatively low blood alcohol content, police said. Mr. Pepe’s was reported to be .08, and his bail was set at $250. Mr. Burnett’s level was reportedly .09, and his bail was set at $300.
The last two people arraigned Sunday morning after being arrested in the sweep had local addresses. One faces a felony charge of possession of a forged document. Justo F. Chacho Cortes, 36, of Springs, was pulled over on a traffic infraction on Abraham’s Path near Town Lane in Amagansett at 3 a.m. and charged with drunken driving. His blood alcohol content was reported to be .10.
The arresting officer, the report said, looked through Mr. Chacho Cortes’s wallet, where he found a forged Social Security card, possession of which is a Class E felony. He was released on $350 bail.
The second man, also from Springs, was Dario J. Zumba-Sumba, 23. He was arrested after police responded to a report of “an unruly group at Wolfie’s Tavern” in Springs. As a patrol car neared Wolfie’s, which is on Fort Pond Boulevard, a 2001 Chrysler reportedly backed out of the parking lot and drove off “at a high rate of speed.”
The officer followed, with the car’s lights activated, but Mr. Zumba-Sumba kept driving for several hundred feet before stopping, police said. The report noted that there were several passengers in the car, and that there were “in plain sight several open bottles of Corona beer and an open bottle of Myer’s Rum.”
Police reported Mr. Zumba-Sumba’s alcohol level at .17, which is more than twice the legal limit. His license had been previously suspended. “You don’t have a license in the State of New York, but now you have a revocation,” Justice Cahill said. He was released on $350 bail.
There were other arrests during the week as well. A New York man driving a white “taxi van” with Connecticut plates was arrested and charged with D. W. I. Sunday evening, after a traffic stop on Amagansett Main Street.
Mark J. Betancourt, 48, told Justice Cahill at his arraignment on Monday that he worked as a driver for a construction company, and was also a musician. “I play Navy Beach, Sloppy Tuna, the Shagwong,” he said. His alcohol level was said to be .14 when tested at police headquarters.
Justice Cahill advised him that it would be in his best interest to hire a local attorney. “It seems like you know people in all the right places,” the justice said. “Ask around.” He was released on $350 bail.
East Hampton Village police made an arrest early Friday morning on the more serious aggravated D.W.I. charge. Joseph J. Dill, 27, of Medford, was said to have a blood alcohol level of .18. He was also charged with possession of a controlled substance, an amphetamine pill. Bail was set at $1,000.
Two other D.W.I. arrests made by town police last week were of a Brooklyn woman, Jeannie M. El-Maadawy, 25, and a Springs man, Thomas Sperry, 37. Ms. El-Maadaway was also hit with a minor charge of marijuana possession. Mr. Sperry refused to take the breath test, while Ms. El-Maadawy’s alcohol level was .09, according to police. Both were released without bail but with a future spot on the court’s criminal calendar.