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Streep Case Moves to Civil Court

Wed, 08/17/2022 - 18:13

The criminal case against Charles Streep of East Hampton and Manhattan, stemming from a highly publicized altercation in a bank parking lot two summers ago, ended in December when Mr. Streep pleaded guilty to a greatly reduced charge of disorderly conduct. His adversary has since filed a civil case against him.

Mr. Streep, a nephew of the actor Meryl Streep, originally faced a felony charge, which included allegations that a hate crime involving derogatory language might have been committed against David Peralta of Springs, who is Ecuadorean-American. The civil court filing reiterates the charge of hate crime.

Andrew Weinstein, an attorney for the defense, had argued in criminal court that the charges were excessive and ill conceived, and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office eventually agreed to the reduced charge, concluding that Mr. Peralta was himself in part responsible for the serious injuries he suffered that day.

Mr. Weinstein is not representing Mr. Streep in the civil case. Edmond Chakmakian, representing Mr. Peralta, said that his new lawyer, as yet unnamed, has an Aug. 29 deadline to respond to the complaint.

Mr. Streep, now 33, and Mr. Peralta, who was 18 at the time, had a verbal dispute after the younger man claimed that Mr. Streep had run a stop sign and cut him off. Mr. Streep, who was driving an Audi convertible, followed Mr. Peralta’s brand-new Mustang into the Chase Bank lot off East Hampton’s Main Street, and both men left their cars. Mr. Chakmakian told the court that his client was shoved before they began wrestling.  

Mr. Peralta, who prosecutors noted had been a high school wrestler but who was both shorter and lighter than Mr. Streep, eventually fell to the pavement. He suffered a serious head injury, and was taken a few hours later by medical helicopter to Stony Brook University Hospital’s level-one trauma center, where surgeons had to cut into his skull to relieve pressure on his brain.

Mr. Chakmakian said the injury has put the young man at enhanced risk for developing dementia later in life. Mr. Weinstein had argued that his client also suffered a concussion, as well as a broken vertebra.

The civil case now under way, said Mr. Chakmakian, will charge Mr. Streep with “negligence,” among other things, adding that “his multimillion-dollar homeowner’s insurance” may be in play.

To date, the only sanction against Mr. Streep has been a $250 fine plus fees following the plea deal in December.

The D.A.’s office has told him, Mr. Chakmakian said, that “Streep was very regretful for what happened.” Mr. Peralta, he said, “is very regretful for what occurred, too.”

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