East Hampton Town police made two arrests on alleged drunk driving charges over the weekend, and four altogether this past week. All four had a Montauk connection. One of those arrested was charged at the felony level.
John Hart of Oceanside was behind the wheel of a 2002 Infiniti sedan Sunday afternoon, headed west on Pantigo Road near East Hampton Town Justice Court, when he swerved multiple times across the double yellow line, police said, leading to a traffic stop. Failing roadside sobriety tests, he was placed under arrest, and taken to headquarters, cops say.
There, a breath test produced blood alcohol level at .14 of one percent, well above the .08 number that defines intoxication, according to police. The drunk driving charges Hart, 67, is facing are felonies, due to a prior conviction in Southampton Town Justice Court in 2012.
The district attorney’s office asked bail to be set at $10,000 during his arraignment Monday morning. Representing Hart was Cynthia Darrell of the Legal Aid Society.
East Hampton Town Justice Steven Tekulsky asked her what Hart’s ties to the Town of East Hampton were. She told him that Hart has a boat docked at Star Island in Montauk, as she asked for a greatly reduced bail to be set. However, as Justice Tekulsky reviewed Hart’s criminal record, he pointed out what appeared to be an additional prior arrest in Illinois and set bail at $5000.
Two sisters of Hart were in the courtroom and said they would post bail. He was taken back to police headquarters, and Hart was released that afternoon.
The balance of the arrests made by town police on DWI charges were at the misdemeanor level.
Driving a 2016 Mazda down the hill on Flamingo Avenue approaching the Montauk train station, an officer said he clocked Joshua Fazeli, formerly of Brooklyn, moving at 64 mph in a 40-mph zone. “I had one vodka soda and two beers,” Fazeli allegedly told the officer, before failing sobriety tests.
Fazeli, 32, refused to take the breath test at headquarters. Justice Tekulsky told him his license is suspended for the next year for refusing the test, pending a hearing at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Fazeli told Justice Tekulsky that he is the general manager of Swallow East, a popular night spot in the dock area of Montauk. Justice Tekulsky ordered Fazeli be released without bail, but not before issuing a stern warning: If Fazeli is arrested again on an unlicensed driver charge while the driving while intoxicated charge is open, and is convicted, “You will go to jail.”
Town police also made two arrests on DWI charges earlier in the week. They arrested a Springs man in Montauk the night of May 8. Police said that Armando Carmona-Romero, 45, was driving a 2004 Chevrolet on Main Street in downtown Montauk without turning on his headlights. His breath test at headquarters produced a .15 reading. He was also charged with misdemeanor unlicensed driving. Carmona-Romero was released the next day after posting $500 bail.
Burgess Abdallah, another man who recently moved to Montauk for restaurant work, was arrested early May 8, headed west on Montauk Highway just past the downtown area when he was pulled over for turning without signaling, cops say. Abdallah, 31, had the lowest reading of the week at .10. He was released the next morning without bail, but with a future date on the East Hampton Town Justice Court’s criminal calendar.