A 20-year-old Ecuadorean immigrant who recently joined his mother at her Springs residence was arrested early Sunday, July 7, on a charge of assault with a weapon with intent to cause serious injury, a felony, as well as a misdemeanor charge of possession of a weapon, after he allegedly stabbed her in the chest with a kitchen knife, after having put the knife to her throat.
The woman was taken to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, where she was treated for her wounds, which apparently were more painful than dangerous. She gave a statement to police then.
Carlos Pucha-Guaman has been in the country for less than a year, rejoining his mother, who has been here for several years. As a backyard party was breaking up, the mother came into the house, where her son allegedly grabbed her from behind, putting the kitchen knife to her throat. “He said he was going to kill me,” the mother told police.
She pushed him away, suffering cuts to her neck and hand as she did so. Police said he then stabbed his mother in the chest with the knife.
When the mother spoke to police, she said that Pucha-Guaman had told her that he believed that her daughter who had died previously in Ecuador had “told him to kill her because she had abandoned them.”
Police arrested Pucha-Guaman shortly thereafter. He was held through the day July 7 to allow detectives to investigate the case. They confiscated Pucha-Guaman’s clothing, possibly as evidence, issuing him a jumpsuit instead.
He was brought in to be arraigned in East Hampton Town Justice Court Monday, July 8.
His mother and several members were in the court. Pucha-Guaman was represented by Gregory Bennedetto Haynes of the Legal Aid Society.
Justice Steven Tekulsky said, as his words were translated into Spanish for the defendant, that the district attorney’s office had asked for an order of protection to be issued for the mother, which would require the son to have no contact of any kind with her. Tekulsky said he understood that the mother had asked the court that her son still be allowed to be in contact with her, but, given the serious nature of the allegations and the possible danger to her, he was siding with the DA. The defense attorney told Tekulsky there was an uncle the defendant could stay with.
Tekulsky expressed concern about Pucha-Guaman’s mental state, asking Bennedetto Haynes, “Are you satisfied that he understands the process, that he is competent to understand the process?” adding that he found some of Pucha-Guaman’s answers “a little odd.”
After setting bail at $5000, Tekulsky gave the defense attorney a few minutes to speak with the family. “They want him to go to a psychiatric hospital,” Bennedetto Haynes said. The mother spoke out, through the translator. “His mind is not well,” she told the judge.
“I understand you have some concern about his mental health,” Tekulsky said. He explained that he could not, legally, send Pucha-Guaman to a psychiatric hospital, and suggested, “Perhaps his uncle can get him to Stony Brook.”
Family members said they would try to raise the bail, but Pucha-Guaman remained in custody as of Tuesday morning.
In other news, a man wanted by the East Hampton Town police since 2016 on a misdemeanor charge of assault was arrested early morning July 4 after he returned to Montauk from his native Puerto Rico to work as a cook, according to the police. Josean Hernandez, 26, who was living in an apartment on Westlake Drive in 2016, allegedly beat another resident of the complex by punching and kicking him “all over his body” multiple times, fracturing a rib and causing lacerations, on August 28, 2016.
After interviewing the victim in 2016, police went to look for Hernandez, but could not find him. He apparently had returned to Puerto Rico. Justice Lisa Rana eventually issued a warrant for his arrest.
He was picked up shortly after arriving back in Montauk, on July 3. The circumstances that led to his arrest are not clear. At police headquarters, as Hernandez was being processed, police said they found a small packet of cocaine in his wallet, leading to a second charge, criminal misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance.
During his appearance in East Hampton Town Justice Court the morning of July 4, Brian DeSesa, Hernandez’s attorney for the arraignment, told Rana that Hernandez had arrived the day before, to go back to work at Ruschmeyer’s as a cook.
DeSesa asked for low bail, but Rana said she was concerned about the seriousness of the injuries the victim allegedly suffered, as well as Hernandez’s lack of ties to the community, as she set bail at $5000. He remained in county jail as of July 9.