Two men whose paths have apparently crossed often remain in county jail after their recent arrests by East Hampton Town police. The fate of one of them, Christopher Metz, 43, is now certain. The fate of the other, Andrew Hellman, 36, is yet to be
Metz was one of the passengers in Hellman’s 2001 GMC Yukon Denali that was parked in the Montauk 7-Eleven parking lot early September 1 when a police officer, suspicious, approached. Hellman, according to the police, put the Denali into drive. When the officer reached toward Hellman to try to stop him, police said Hellman peeled out of the parking lot, dragging the officer about 20 feet. After he made a sharp right turn, the Denali flipped over onto its side.
Hellman was charged with assaulting the officer, a felony. Metz and the other passengers were questioned by police, who were also searching the Denali. Police reported finding marijuana on Metz, and he was arrested. Metz was then given a court appearance ticket to be arraigned, and left police headquarters. He likely was not aware that, at that moment, he was the subject of an investigation by the East Hampton Town police detective bureau. They were looking into a string of incidents in which industrial equipment was stolen. All occurred in the vicinity of Metz’s Oakview Highway residence.
Meantime, according to the police, they turned up a quantity of cocaine in Hellman’s vehicle. He was charged with two more felonies, possession of narcotics and possession with the intent to sell.
On October 26, Metz was placed under arrest after being questioned by detectives on multiple felony charges of grand larceny. Because of his two prior felony convictions, he was not eligible for bail at the local level. His attorney, Matthew D’Amato of the Legal Aid Society, waived Metz’s right to be released if not indicted, allowing for negotiations with the district attorney’s office.
On November 14, in the county courtroom of New York State Justice John Collins, Metz pleaded guilty to one felony count of grand larceny. He is expected to be sentenced by Justice Collins on December 17 to one year of incarceration. Because it is only a year, he will not be sent to an upstate prison, but will likely remain where is he now, in the Suffolk County correctional facility in Yaphank.
Hellman was indicted within days of his arrest. New York State Justice Stephen Braslow set bail at $250,000. Hellman has remained in the Riverside correctional facility since his arrest.
On November 15, Hellman was brought to the East Hampton Town Justice Court on a technicality. The charges in East Hampton had to be dropped, because Hellman is being prosecuted for the felonies at the county level.