Two Weapons: One a Shotgun, the Other a Car
“I went into the house for one reason,” Tristan Tutching reportedly told East Hampton Town detectives in a midnight interview on May 2, “to get my girlfriend out of there, into my car, and back to her parents.”
Police say the Riverhead man was dragging the young woman, whose name was not released, out of an Amagansett house and toward his 2002 Volvo when he was confronted by Justin Napolillo, who had come to her defense carrying a 12-gauge shotgun.
“I was so scared he was going to shoot me through the windshield,” Mr. Tutching stated, “that I just put my car in drive, aimed it at where he was standing, and ran him over to stop that from happening. I couldn’t have been going more than 10 miles per hour when I hit him.” Police said Mr. Tutching drove the car directly at Mr. Napolillo, striking him, and charged him with two felonies: burglary, and assault with a deadly weapon (the car), as well as three misdemeanors, unlawful imprisonment, menacing, and assault.
Mr. Napolillo dropped the shotgun after he was struck. Mr. Tutching jumped out of the car and picked up the shotgun, police said. “After I hit him with my car, I saw that the shotgun had fallen from his hands and landed near my driver’s-side door,” he told detectives. “I got out and picked it up, and that’s when Justin said to me, ‘It’s not loaded,’ so I dropped it.” According to the charges, Mr. Tutching threatened Mr. Napolillo with the weapon before realizing it was not loaded and dropping it.
It was unclear from the police report whether the young woman was actually inside the car during the altercation. If so, she managed to exit it before Mr. Napolillo drove off, heading west.
The initial 911 call came in at 8:33 p.m., reporting a man having been struck by a car. When police arrived at the house, which is on Montauk Highway just west of Cranberry Hole Road, they found a chaotic scene, with a shotgun on the ground and Mr. Napolillo injured, as well as the young woman, who was also injured.
At 8:38 p.m., dispatchers put out a “be on the lookout” call to town and village police for the gray Volvo. Almost immediately, an East Hampton Village officer spotted the car on Pantigo Road. It turned onto Newtown Lane, where the officer pulled it over and detained Mr. Tutching until town police arrived to take him into custody. He was formally arrested at 10:32 p.m. and taken to headquarters, where, around midnight, he gave his statement to detectives.
Mr. Napolillo, meanwhile, was taken for treatment to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital by an Amagansett Fire Department ambulance. He was later released.
Mr. Tutching was charged with menacing once before, in 2015, when Southampton Town police arrested him after he allegedly lured a man out of his house, brandished a shotgun, and pumped a shell into its chamber. He was additionally charged with illegal weapons possession and ultimately pleaded guilty to menacing. He was fined $355.
He was arraigned on the current charges last Thursday in East Hampton Town Justice Court. Bail was set at $5,000, which was posted. The Volvo was impounded and towed to the town police yard on Industrial Road in Wainscott.