Claims he started fire at tennis club; arrested for third time in December

Felony Charges After Threat

Scott McKallip, shown here New Year’s Day morning being led into East Hampton Town Justice Court, claimed to have started the December 22 fire at the East Hampton Indoor Tennis Club facility, according to witnesses. Independent/T. E. McMorrow

The man who reportedly claimed to have started the fire that damaged the main office at the East Hampton Indoor Tennis Club early December 22 spent five days in jail last week after being arrested New Year’s Eve, charged by East Hampton Village police with a felony violation of a court order.

According to police, Scott McKallip, 55, a resident of Newtown Lane, walked into Fierro’s Pizza late New Year’s Eve morning, and began shouting threats about the manager and owner of the tennis club, who was not present at the time.

Witnesses reported McKallip “started ranting and raving, and said he had a lawsuit against the cops.” He shouted that he was going to first attack the club manager’s wife, then kill the couple. This information was relayed to the manager by one of the witnesses, and he called police. “She heard him say that he was going to go to the Clubhouse (the popular sports bar that was recently opened at EHIT) and take care of the other building, that he was the one that started the fire, and they don’t know, but he used gasoline,” the manager told police, an account verified by the witness.

It was the third time McKallip was arrested last month. The two most recent arrests stem from the first when he was charged by East Hampton Town police with a misdemeanor, aggravated harassment. That same day, December 7, a court order of protection requiring that he stay away from a woman who works at the Clubhouse was issued by Justice Lisa Rana. McKallip had allegedly sent frontal nude pictures of himself to the woman on December 4. When asked why he sent her the nude pics, he allegedly answered, “Some girls like it.”He was released on $300 bail.

He was arrested again on the morning of December 23, after driving a 2005 Ford Explorer into the tennis club parking lot, the police said, and was charged with trespassing and a misdemeanor charge of violating Justice Rana’s order of protection. A new bail amount of $500 was set for McKallip, and he, again, was released. Because he is an ex-Marine, his cases were transferred to Veterans Court in Hampton Bays, which deals with former soldiers dealing with troubles possibly connected to their service.

In addition to his three arrests, during the month of December, he was pulled over by town and village police while driving his 2005 Ford Explorer at least five times, resulting in numerous traffic violation citations, including three speeding tickets.

Two hours before the incident at Fierro’s New Year’s Eve morning, McKallip had walked into the East Hampton Star office on Main Street, apparently unhappy with the paper’s coverage of his arrests. Police were called in on a report of a “disturbance” there, but no charges were filed.

Tom Baker, an East Hampton Town fire marshal, would not discuss the particulars of the Clubhouse fire. It remains under investigation by town police and the Suffolk County arson squad. East Hampton Town Police Captain Chris Anderson would not comment Monday on the “ongoing investigation,” other than to confirm that it is being dealt with as an arson case.

After bail was set at $5000 by Justice Steven Tekulsky New Year’s Day morning, McKallip turned to a man identified by Carl Irace, the attorney representing him, as an employee of McKallip’s mother, who winters in Florida. “Call my mother,” McKallip said to the man in a loud voice. As he was being led away, McKallip turned and shouted an obscenity at Justice Tekulsky.

McKallip has a long record of arrests, though mostly at the petty crime level, both here, and in Florida.

He was released from county jail after five days without bail, as required by law, because the district attorney’s office had not obtained an indictment on the felony charge.