Felony D.W.I. Arrest for Dad

A Montauk man who had an infant and a 2-year-old in his car was arrested early Sunday morning on a felony charge of driving while intoxicated.

East Hampton Town police said they spotted Marco Gutama-Pillco’s 2003 Chevrolet swerving across lane lines on Abraham’s Path in Amagansett shortly after midnight and pulled him over. He failed roadside sobriety tests, according to the police.

He was charged under Leandra’s Law, which makes it a felony to drive drunk with a child aged 15 or under in the car. A warrant was later issued requiring him to allow a blood sample to be drawn at police headquarters to determine his blood-alcohol level, as is mandated under Leandra’s Law, named for an 11-year-old who was killed by a drunken driver.

Leandra’s Law was passed weeks later, in 2009. The year before, Mr. Gutama-Pillco, now 32, had been convicted in a D.W.I. crash. That accident also involved a child, who, East Hampton Town Justice Lisa Rana noted at his arraignment on Sunday morning, “suffered harm.”

“While that was technically not a Leandra’s Law case since the law had not come into effect,” she said, “the facts and circumstances are still that serious.”

“The mother was in the car during [Sunday’s] incident?” Justice Rana asked Mr. Gutama-Pillco’s attorney, Edward Burke Jr. “Yes,” Mr. Burke answered, “They were coming back from a birthday party.”

“Based on that information, I’m going to have to direct that the Police Department contact Child Protective Services and mandate a report,” she said.

Noting that Mr. Gutama-Pillco’s criminal record also showed a 2009 arrest for assault, later reduced to a misdemeanor, Justice Rana set bail at $20,000. Mr. Gutama-Pillco’s wife and several family members, who were in the court, said they would raise the bail. An hour later, they posted it in cash at police headquarters.

A Springs man who was arrested last Thursday night also faces a D.W.I. charge. Juan I. Auquilla, 53, was seen swerving on Springs-Fireplace Road near Queens Lane in East Hampton, police said, and reportedly refused to take a breath test at headquarters.

Because Mr. Auquilla was arrested in Southampton shortly after New Year’s Day on a misdemeanor D.W.I. charge that has yet to be adjudicated, he was additionally charged with felony unlicensed driving. Justice Steven Tekulsky set bail at $1,000 and warned him not to drive “unless and until your privileges are restored.”

An East Hampton woman driving a black Land Rover Discovery north on Main Street, Sag Harbor, on Sunday afternoon sideswiped several parked vehicles, then drove off, police said. Elaine Chaloner was soon located on Hampton Street after a witness dialed 911. Her car’s passenger side was damaged, according to Sag Harbor Village police, consistent with the report.

She told the arresting officer that she had just left Buddha Berry, “looked down for a split second, and hit several parked vehicles.” She also said she had had two beers at LT Burger. She drove off, the report continued, “because she was scared.” Her breath test produced a .13 reading, above the .08 number that defines intoxication. She was released without bail the next morning after being arraigned on the misdemeanor charge.

A Springs woman, Karla Nicole Maldonado-Rodriguez, 30, was charged with misdemeanor D.W.I. early Saturday morning after failing to signal a turn from Town Lane to Abraham’s Path in Amagansett, according to the officer who stopped her 2009 Jeep. The charge was later raised to the “aggravated” level after her breath test produced a reported reading of .19. Bail of $250 was posted later that morning.

Coerte V. W. Felske of Montauk, 56, stands charged with D.W.I. for the third time since 2012, though he has no criminal record since both prior cases were adjudicated as violations. Town police said they saw his 1989 Toyota stopped on Industrial Road in Montauk early Sunday in front of an unoccupied structure. They pulled over to question him and brought him back to headquarters on suspicion of drunken driving. Both his insurance and registration have lapsed, police noted, leading to two additional misdemeanor charges.

“Your license is suspended on two counts,” Justice Rana told him at his arraignment. “One, based upon the prior conviction over the past five years,” and second, because he had refused to take the headquarters breath test. He was released on no bail with a future date on her criminal calendar.

Hobson Michael Howell, 71, who told the court Sunday that he lives in Noyac but will soon be moving to Springs, was pulled over on Toilsome Lane after an electronic reader told an East Hampton Village officer that his inspection and registration had lapsed. He was driving a 1998 Jeep, the same vehicle he was driving last September when town police charged him with misdemeanor D.W.I., a charge ultimately pleaded down to the violation level before Justice Rana.

His breath test came in at .07, high enough to trigger a charge of driving with ability impaired. More important, he was charged twice over with misdemeanor unlicensed driving.

Justice Rana’s patience with Mr. Howell was clearly tried. First, she pointed out, he had not paid one cent toward the fine he incurred on the violation. She told him she was again suspending his driving privileges. He then offered to pay the fine. Monday, when the court clerk’s office would be open, and asked if he could have a new hardship license. The answer was no. “How do I get here?” he asked. “I afforded you a lot of opportunities in your prior case,” Justice Rana said. “It’s not for me to figure out how you’re going to get from your home to here.” She released Mr. Howell without bail.

Also charged with D.W.I. early Sunday were Nicholas Zumpul, 22, of Lindenhurst, and Celina Honore d’Este of Manhattan and East Hampton. Ms. d’Este was stopped after failing to dim the headlights of her 2016 BMW for an oncoming patrol car on Three Mile Harbor Road in East Hampton, police said; Mr. Zumpul because his 2013 Jeep Liberty was clocked at 46 miles per hour in downtown Montauk where the limit is 30. Both were released without bail.

Daniel John Reese, 22, of Springs was arrested a little after midnight last Thursday on Town Lane in Amagansett; police said his 2003 Ford was speeding and swerving. His reading was .13, and he was released without bail.

Carlos E. Mendoza’s test early Sunday at Sag Harbor police headquarters produced a reported reading of .14. Police stopped his 2015 Chevrolet Silverado on Main Street, because, allegedly, its headlights were off. He was released without bail.

Finally, two Sag Harbor residents were arrested over the weekend by state troopers. Richard I. Obler was charged with driving with ability impaired by drugs, a misdemeanor, after being stopped at a sobriety checkpoint just before midnight Friday on the eastbound side of Sunrise Highway. Jaime R. Japa, 36, was stopped in Southampton by a trooper who said he was driving erratically. Both men were released after being booked at state police headquarters in Riverside, and will be arraigned in Southampton Justice Court at a future date.