Cops Have a Busy July 4
The Suffolk County district attorney’s driving-while-intoxicated task force put a crimp in the Fourth of July festivities for six men, five of whom police said were driving drunk in the early morning hours on Wednesday. Ten officers from eight police agencies, including the East Hampton Town Police Department, made six drunken driving arrests that day, according to Chief Michael Sarlo.
Just hours after turning 23 years old, an East Hampton man found himself in handcuffs following an accident on Napeague. Jonathan I. Pena-Tacuri was driving a 2007 Chevrolet west on Montauk Highway near Napeague Harbor Road on Wednesday, when he rear-ended a 2008 Toyota that was stopped to make a left turn into the Ocean Vista motel entrance at about 12:30 a.m. Syed Sarwar, 49, of Selden, who was driving the Toyota, a taxi, was not hurt, nor were his five passengers. His car’s passenger side bumper was damaged, however.
Police said Mr. Pena-Tacuri appeared intoxicated. A check with the Department of Motor Vehicles showed his license had been suspended on April 5 for a driving-while-ability-impaired conviction. He was charged with felony aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and misdemeanor driving while intoxicated. East Hampton Town Justice Lisa R. Rana released him on $2,000 bail at his arraignment later that morning.
At around the same time of Mr. Pena-Tacuri’s arrest, Michael A. Queenan, 44, of Plymouth, Mass., was pulled over in Montauk. Police said he broke several vehicular and traffic laws driving a 2013 Nissan, including failure to keep right and failure to maintain his designated lane on South Emerson Avenue, near South Essex Street, at about 12:35 a.m. He appeared intoxicated and was placed under arrest. He was searched at police headquarters in Wainscott at about 2:20 a.m., which revealed that he was in possession of a smoking device cartridge that contained concentrated cannabis, according to police. The brown substance later tested positive for the presence of marijuana.
Mr. Queenan was charged with two misdemeanors — driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. Justice Rana released him on $500 bail.
A little bit earlier in the evening, Kyle Steven Morgan, 35, of Tampa, Fla., also was arrested on a misdemeanor drunken driving charge. It was just after midnight when police said they saw him driving a 2017 Nissan west on Newtown Lane without taillights. Police stopped him, and after they said he performed poorly on field sobriety tests, he was charged with D.W.I. Justice Rana released him on $500 bail, as well.
At 2:15 a.m., police said they saw a 2006 Saturn go through stop signs on Abraham’s Path and Springs-Fireplace Road, and also fail to signal a right turn from Abraham’s Path onto Springs-Fireplace Road at about 2:15 a.m. Jarrett J. Culotta, 25, of Medford was behind the wheel, and appeared intoxicated. Charged with D.W.I., he was released on his own recognizance, following arraignment later that morning.
Police arrested a 19-year-old East Hampton man after an officer saw him swerving on Montauk Highway, by Georgica Road, in East Hampton at about 3:40 a.m. on Wednesday.
Edwin J. Zeledon-Gomez was headed west in a 2013 Jeep Wrangler when it crossed the double-yellow lines and also drove onto the grassy area on the side of the road, according to police. He was charged with aggravated D.W.I., a misdemeanor, for allegedly having a blood alcohol level above .18. Justice Rana released him on $500 bail.
Earlier, on July 3, police arrested a Southampton driver who they said nearly hit a Hampton Jitney bus on Montauk Highway in East Hampton. Fernando Melendrez-Sarceno, 25, was driving a 2002 Honda west, near Pantigo Place, when police said he failed to yield the right of way and almost hit the bus. He performed poorly on field sobriety tests, according to police, and was charged with driving while ability impaired by alcohol, a violation.
Held until 10:16 p.m., police released him after he posted $200 bail with a notice to appear in court on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Sag Harbor Village police arrested Richard E. Decker, 54, on a drunken-driving charge. Mr. Decker, who lives in Sag Harbor, was driving a 2018 Dodge Ram 1500 north on Division Street when he failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Bay Street at about 1:40 a.m., police said. He appeared intoxicated, and refused to take any field sobriety tests, according to the report. “Just arrest me,” he reportedly told police.
A check of his license showed it was suspended in November for failure to pay a fine and suspended in September for failure to pay a driver responsibility assessment. After a morning arraignment, he was released on his own recognizance.