Gardiner’s Island: Arrest Prompts Question

The arrest last week by East Hampton Town police of an Amagansett man on a charge of trespassing may wind up having far-reaching consequences for anyone who sets foot on Cartwright Shoal, a peninsula in Gardiner’s Bay.

East Hampton Town police said Roderic R. Richardson, 57, of Amagansett was on private property and had ­­­­removed two “no trespassing” signs from the sand spit, which police said is part of Gardiner’s Island, which is owned by the Goelet family trust. The theft caused “substantial inconvenience in time and labor costs,” the criminal complaint said. 

Mr. Richardson was charged with third-degree criminal tampering, a misdemeanor, and trespass, a violation, on July 25 at about 11:40 a.m. He was released on his own recognizance with a notice to appear in East Hampton Town Justice Court next Thursday. 

Mr. Richardson, however, said Cartwright Shoal was public property. He has done research, he said, that shows it is not a private island owned by the Goelet family trust. “I understand the whole island and foreshore to be owned by the people of New York, who have every right to visit and enjoy this local treasure,” he said.

In a letter to the editor to be published in next week’s Star, Mr. Richardson said his father used to take him picnicking on Cartwright Island as far back as the 1960s.

“Many East Hampton families have done the same, for centuries. Now, when boaters stop by the island, and their children play on the shore, one or two military-style patrol craft, with the word “SECURITY” prominently displayed, swing by to intimidate these families, threatening to call Marine Patrol,” his letter says. 

“These employees of the Goelet family trust tell these families they are trespassing to even anchor there, or walk on the shore, because ‘the Gardiners have a royal grant that gives them ownership of all of Cartwright Island into the water, as far as an ox can walk without getting its belly wet.’ That is exactly what happened Saturday, the last day of June, to several families that were anchored on the foreshore in four boats.”

“The charges against me are without merit and contrary to the public’s basic rights of access to the beaches. The Goelets insist on making this a public matter, despite the fact that I offered to resolve this privately, as reasonable folks should do.  I reached out to them, via counsel, to say I would agree to never visit the island again, if they would simply show me clear proof of ownership, as claimed. They refused to do so.”

In other arrests reported in the last week, police said Matthew August Maughan of Massapequa Park wrote graffiti on several areas around the Clam and Chowder House at Salivar’s Dock in Montauk in June. Mr. Maughan, 27, caused $1,480 in damage by using a marker on several areas, including a urinal, an oak partition wall, a toilet-paper holder, roof shingles, a fish box, and a painted wall. The incident allegedly happened on June 10 at about 3:30 p.m. Mr. Maughan was arrested on July 25. East Hampton Town Justice Steven Tekulsky released him on $500 bail. 

Antonio A. Cabrera of East Hampton was charged with drug possession on Sunday. Mr. Cabrera, 32, was arrested with a small amount of marijuana in his possession during a traffic stop on Cranberry Hole Road, near Napeague Meadow Road, at about 9:35 p.m. Police said they found a small plastic baggy with the marijuana under the passenger side floor mat of a 2007 Toyota he was a passenger in. 

The arresting officer took him to police headquarters in Wainscott, and during a search reported that he found a small bag of cocaine hidden in his buttocks at about 10:45 p.m. Mr. Cabrera was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a misdemeanor, and unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation. He was released on $200 bail with a notice to appear in court next Thursday.

A 62-year-old Springs woman was arrested Saturday after police said she stole an American Express credit card and charged over $2,000 on it. 

Julie Cynthia Bradley allegedly took the Amex off the counter at the Golden Pear on Newtown Lane on May 17, Detective Sgt. Greg Brown said. He declined to release the name the credit card was in.

Ms. Bradley made purchases with the credit card at many different places throughout the village, as well as two places outside the village, over a three-week period, police said.  

She was charged with two felonies on Saturday; fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and fourth-degree grand larceny. 

Ms. Bradley was released on $500 bail.