A man was sent to jail last week from East Hampton Town Justice Court after the Suffolk County Probation Department sent the judge a scathing review of his conduct. Peter Gruoe, 25, formerly of Oakdale, was charged with violating probation, leading to his court appearance last Thursday before East Hampton Town Justice Steven Tekulsky.
Gruoe was first arrested East Hampton Town police in January 2016 on a drunken driving charge. One year later, he pleaded guilty, and was ordered to do two years’ probation. In early 2018, he stopped seeing his probation officer and was ordered to enter a long-term drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic. Instead, according to the probation department, the GPS ankle bracelet he had been ordered to wear began showing him frequenting bars in Montauk, such as Liar’s Saloon and The Point Bar and Grill. He was also charged with stealing beer from the 7-Eleven in Montauk.
He also allowed the GPS battery to completely drain, so he could not be tracked, the probation department said. In September of this year, Gruoe entered a treatment program in Quincy, MA, from which he was discharged after allegedly assaulting a fellow resident. He then entered a treatment program in Hampton Bays, which he left before completing the program. He was found, the department’s report stated, in a nearby bar. The probation department sent a letter to Justice Tekulsky, asking that Gruoe’s “probation be revoked and he be sentenced to a period of incarceration as prescribed by law,” likely six months in jail.
A similar case involved Matthew Kopoulos, who appeared before Justice Lisa Rana on October 25. He is not in jail, yet, but could be facing time after the probation department sent a letter to the court recommending incarceration.
Kopoulos’s alleged crimes involve misdemeanor drug charges. He is on probation after having pleaded guilty to possession of a small amount of cocaine two years ago.
According to the probation department, despite being in a drug treatment program, he continually tests positive for the presence of marijuana in his system.
“You have two cases open here in front of me,” Justice Rana told Kopoulos. “Right now, probation is asking for incarceration. I think they are done with you.” Justice Rana warned that she might also be done with Kopoulos, as well. She said that Kopoulos was wasting the time of drug treatment councilors and employees “who are very overworked.” She added, “Somebody else isn’t getting service because of you.” She set his next court date for December 6. “If I get a report, and it is not stellar, you are going to jail,” the judge told him.