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Prior Convictions for D.W.I.

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 07:22

A Greenport man picked up on Georgica Road in East Hampton Village Friday night had abandoned his car after crashing twice, according to police, who arrested him on a drunken-driving charge.

An officer on patrol on Ocean Avenue spotted a tree branch and numerous car parts in the road. It appeared that a car had driven off the road, striking trees and shrubs. With two other officers joining the search, Cleofe Vazquez was soon spotted. He told police “he was on his way home from Patchogue to Greenport,” the police report reads, and “that he and his vehicle had been involved in an accident.” The 2000 Suzuki Grand Vitara was found about 1,000 feet away from where he was found. It had, according to the report, again left the road, bouncing off a fire hydrant before coming to rest.

During arraignment the next morning in East Hampton Town Justice Court, Justice Lisa Rana read off a series of his alcohol-related convictions. They included two convictions for driving with ability impaired, violations, and a misdemeanor drunken-driving conviction in Southold in 1990. On Friday, after his arrest, his blood alcohol level was .17 of 1 percent, over twice the legal limit.

“Given the high reading in this case, and your previous history, you should get an attorney, sooner, rather than later,” Justice Rana told him. After she set bail at $400, he said he would make some phone calls and asked if he could use a credit card. “We’re not ready to handle bail by credit card, but I am working on it,” she told the defendant.

Bail was posted Saturday, and Mr. Vazquez was released, with a return date of Jan. 29.

A Springs man from Ecuador who told Justice Rana of a personal crisis during his arraignment on Sunday was released from custody on $10,000 bail or $20,000 bond after being charged with felony driving while intoxicated.

Gustavo R. Nauta-Guazhambo, 30, was found by a town police officer a little after midnight on Saturday, allegedly asleep behind the wheel of a 2000 Chevrolet pickup truck with the engine running, on Harley Avenue. The report indicates that an open bottle of Modelo beer was in the car. At headquarters, he refused to take the breath test.

During his arraignment, Justice Rana said, “You have two priors. This is not the first time you have been through this process.” She said he had a 2007 conviction for D.W.A.I. In addition, she said, “You just pleaded guilty in 2013 to D.W.I. in front of me.”

Anna Kestler, who was the court’s regular interpreter last year, now runs the translation unit at the county level, in Riverside, but she helps out at East Hampton Town Justice Court from time to time. She translated for the defendant.

 “You need to speak to your attorney. You have been charged with a felony,” Justice Rana said. “Besides the fact that you have two priors, you have two warrants that have been issued in the past, together with the fact that you are on probation, I’m going to be setting bail at $10,000 cash, or $20,000 bond. You are a flight risk.”

At that point, Mr. Nauta-Guazhambo, who said, “I don’t have that much money,” told the court that his “wife passed.” He needed to return to Ecuador with his wife’s body, he said as the courtroom was silent. “I am truly sorry about that,” Justice Rana said. “I do feel sorry for you.”

Initially unable to post bail, he was taken to the county jail in Riverside, where, later in the day, a friend who had been in the courtroom during the arraignment either put up the bond or bail. Mr. Nauta-Guazhambo was released. He is due back in court today.



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