The man accused of assaulting an East Hampton Town police officer with his car was indicted by a grand jury on Thursday, September 6. Andrew Hellman, 36, was scheduled to be released if not indicted, under the laws governing arrests on felony charges. Instead, he is now not eligible for bail until he is arraigned in county court in front of Justice Stephen Braslow in Riverside on Friday, September 14.
Hellman has been charged with three felonies, the most serious of which is possession of narcotics (cocaine) with intent to sell. He also is facing a straight cocaine possession charge, as well as a charge of assaulting a police officer.
During his initial arraignment in East Hampton on September 2, Hellman told the court he is a lifelong Sag Harbor resident who just recently moved to the Northwest Woods area. As he was being led into the courthouse, he was smiling and joking with photographers outside.
He is also facing three misdemeanor charges including driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, and reckless endangerment.
Hellman was said by police to have been sitting behind the wheel of a 2001 GMC Yukon Denali in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven in downtown Montauk with four passengers, when he was approached by at least two officers, including Andrew Nimmo. Hellman, who appeared to be drunk to the officers, tried to flee by putting the car into drive, and, apparently, flooring the gas. Nimmo, who had reached in to the vehicle to try and prevent Hellman from driving off, the police said, was dragged about 15 to 20 feet, and suffered severe contusions.
Hellman, accelerating, according to the police, made a hard right turn out of the parking lot, only to have the vehicle roll over about 100 feet west of the convenience store. When police and other first responders got to him, he was still behind the wheel. He was extracted, unhurt, and charged with drunken driving and assault. A search of the vehicle, which was lying on its side in the eastbound lane of Montauk Highway, turned up the packaged narcotics, police said.
Bail was set at $7500. Unable to meet that amount, he was taken to county jail in Riverside, where he remains.
Two other indictments were announced last Thursday in East Hampton Justice Court. Fabrice Twagirumukiza was indicted August 31 on six felony charges. The Sag Harbor man was arrested by East Hampton Town police August 6. He will also be arraigned Friday in the same courtroom as Hellman. Twagirumukiza has been free on bail since shortly after his arrest. He was originally charged with two counts of felony driving while intoxicated. The grand jury tripled the felony charges. Besides the original two counts of felony DWI, he is now facing felony charges of aggravated unlicensed driving, aggravated driving while intoxicated with two prior convictions, and two counts of operating a motor vehicle while drunk with a suspended license, according to court records.
The third indictment was that of John Jara of East Hampton on two felony counts of drunken driving. He has already been arraigned in Justice Braslow’s courtroom and is due back in court in October. He was arrested this past Easter by town police.