East Hampton police took nine drivers into custody over the holiday weekend.

Busy Week Of DWI Arrests In East Hampton

There were nine arrests on drunken driving charges made by East Hampton Town police through Monday morning this past week. Several are detailed elsewhere in this issue.

An excessively high breath test reading has resulted in an East Hampton man now facing an aggravated misdemeanor drunken driving charge, according to police. Matthew Silich, 22, was driving a 2010 Volkswagen on Main Street in East Hampton Village early Monday morning when a town officer reported him swerving multiple times across the double yellow lines, leading to a traffic stop.

The officer said Silich smelled of alcohol, was unsteady on his feet, and failed sobriety tests. He reportedly told police he was coming from the Stephen Talkhouse and had consumed “two Montauks.”

Under arrest on a charge of driving while intoxicated, he was taken to headquarters, where a breath test to determine the percentage of alcohol in his blood produced a reading of 0.26 percent reading, the police said. That reading is more than three times the legal limit and well above the 0.18 mark that automatically raises the charge to the aggravated level.

His family was in court later Monday morning for his arraignment. Carl Irace, one of two attorneys retained by the state to represent defendants being arraigned on weekends and holidays, stood next to Silich. Irace told East Hampton Town Justice Steven Tekulsky that Silich had recently graduated from college. Irace questioned the high reading, saying it didn’t seem to match the other facts of the case, such as Silich’s statement to police, and his physical appearance.

That question, Justice Tekulsky responded, will have to be brought up in the future by whichever attorney Silich retains. Under the state-run weekend lawyer program, the attorneys are not allowed to represent the defendants past the arraignment.

Justice Tekulsky ordered Silich released without bail, saying he had strong community ties, though he did express concern about the high reading.

A 2018 Tesla allegedly moving at 87 miles per hour on West Lake Drive in Montauk led to a traffic stop, which was followed by the arrest of Antonello Paganuzzi, 48, early Sunday morning on a drunken driving charge.

The arresting officer said Paganuzzi, who splits his time between Davie, Florida, and Montauk, along with other locations, smelled strongly of alcohol, and failed roadside sobriety tests.

There was a passenger in the Tesla at the time. “I just wanted to show him the pickup of the car,” Paganuzzi is quoted as telling the officer. “I thought I was going like 75.” The speed limit on West Lake Drive is 45 mph. The northbound Tesla was pulled over near Star Island Drive, the police said.

Paggnuzzi was taken to headquarters, where East Hampton Town police said he refused a breath test.

Besides a speeding ticket and a misdemeanor driving while intoxicated charge, Paganuzzi is also facing a felony charge of unlicensed driving.

However, Brian DeSesa, the other attorney in the weekend program, was on hand Sunday, and represented Pagnuzzi. DeSesa said that he believed the felony charge may be dropped. Paganuzzi’s license had been suspended, DeSesa said, for failure to pay a fee. That may have been a clerical error, which would eliminate the charge. “He believes he did clear that,” DeSesa said.

Justice Lisa Rana told Pagnuzzi that his license was suspended for the next year for refusing the breath test, pending a hearing at the Department of Motor Vehicles. “You cannot drive,” she said.

As she considered the proper bail amount, she asked what Pagnuzzi did for a living, and what his connection to the Town of East Hampton was, and was told he is the director of operations for LDV Hospitality. The firm runs Scarpetta, a fine-dining restaurant at both Gurney’s Resort in Montauk and Gurney’s in Newport, as well as other locations. Bail of $1,500 was set and posted.

An East Hampton Town police officer following a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro she said was being driven erratically ended up arresting Juan Castillo-Forero, 28, on a drunk driving charge after he turned into the parking area west of what is commonly known as the “Smiley Motel” in downtown Montauk and smacked into a wooden barrier, early on May 23.

During his arraignment later that day, Castillo-Forero told the court that, while his license states that he lives in Northport, he recently moved to Montauk, where he is working as a manager at Gurney’s resort.

Besides the misdemeanor driving while intoxicated counts, Castillo-Forero was also charged with several traffic infractions. “I had two beers,” he reportedly told the arresting officer. A breath test at headquarters produced a reading of 0.14 of one percent. Intoxication is defined as any reading of 0.08 or higher.

Castillo-Forero posted $250 bail.

Town police also arrested Miguel Uzhca Carchippula around midnight Friday. Police said they found him behind the wheel of a 2006 Nissan Murano, engine running, at the Speedway gas station in Wainscott. He failed roadside sobriety tests and was arrested. Uzhca Carchipulla, 30, an East Hampton resident and day laborer, refused to take the breath test at headquarters.

His family was in the court for his Saturday morning arraignment. His driving privilege was suspended for the next year. His family posted $250 bail for his release.

William Edwards, 29, of Plainview, had the lowest reading of the week, 0.11. Police said they found him sitting in a 2010 Honda Accord stopped in the middle of the intersection of Montauk

Highway and West Gate Road in Wainscott about 2 AM Monday. Cited for obstructing traffic, he was then charged with misdemeanor DWI. He was freed later Monday after posting $200 bail, with a future date on the East Hampton Town Justice Court’s criminal calendar.

tom.e@indyeastend.com