It was news because of the shared last name of the defendant and the alleged victim: Lohan. The New York Post was there, as was the Daily Mail, along with local media outlets.
Michael Lohan, 59, who is described by Wikipedia as “an American television personality, best known as the father of actress Lindsay Lohan,” was being arraigned in Southampton Village Justice Court on a misdemeanor charge alleging that he choked his wife, Kate Major Lohan, causing bruising on her throat Monday, February 10.
The couple live with their two young children in a condominium on Hampton Road.
Michael Lohan was arrested on Main Street in Southampton Village. Village police had received a report of a domestic violence incident, in which it was alleged that he had attacked Kate Lohan. When he was arrested, Michael Lohan was outside the building where his wife’s lawyer, Colin Astarita, has his office. Kate Lohan had been at Astarita’s office earlier that day, he said on Wednesday, when he had noticed bruising on her neck and urged her to go to the police.
The first officer arrived a little before 4 PM. Lohan was in his 2012 BMW at the time. Three more officers then arrived, and Michael Lohan was handcuffed, without incident. Besides the choking charge, he was also charged with harassment as a simple violation.
Kate Major Lohan is 37, four years older than her stepdaughter.
She had visited Astarita’s office because she, herself, had been arrested less than 24 hours earlier on an aggravated drunken driving charge by New York State police. They made that arrest after being alerted by Southampton Town police to be on the lookout for the 2014 Maserati Ghibli S Q4 with Florida plates Kate Lohan was said to be driving. Southampton Town police sent out that alert after receiving a call from Michael Lohan, reporting that his wife was highly intoxicated and on the road.
Kate Lohan was reportedly spotted at the Shell station on County Road 39 by a state trooper. Allegedly failing sobriety tests, she was placed under arrest and taken to the state police barracks where a breath test came in at a reported .24, over the .18 of one percent mark that triggers a raised charge of aggravated drunken driving. The charge is at the misdemeanor level. As is the policy of state police, who do not have holding facilities in their Riverside barracks, after Kate Lohan was processed on the drunken driving charge, she was released to a “sober third party,” the police said.
This was the prelude to the altercation at the Hampton Road condo where the two live, that led to Michael Lohan’s arrest. After being arrested, he complained of chest pains, and was taken to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. Because an order of protection needed to be issued by the court during arraignment scheduled for the next day, for the alleged victim, an officer stayed at the hospital with Lohan.
Late morning, February 11, Kate Lohan pulled up in her Maserati, parking in the lot outside the Southampton Village Justice Court. Despite being charged with aggravated drunken driving, she is still allowed to drive a car because she has not yet been arraigned. That is scheduled for February 24 at Southampton Town Justice Court. At that time, her license will be suspended.
Lohan shielded her eyes from the waiting photographers behind her sunglasses. That the media was there was not an accident: one or both of the Lohans had alerted various news outlets as to what was going on at the courthouse. The Daily Mail was even provided a copy of Lohan’s complaint to the police. According to Southampton Village Police Detective Sergeant Herman Lamison, those documents were not released by his department.
Kate Lohan made several exits and entrances into the courtroom, always carefully shielding her eyes from the cameras. It turned into a long wait until her husband was brought into court in handcuffs. At one point, Kate Lohan sat in her Maserati for about 20 minutes. During Michael Lohan’s arraignment, Kate told Southampton Village Justice Barbara Wilson that, if need be, she could stay with Dina Lohan, Lindsay Lohan’s birth mother.
When Michael Lohan was brought into court in handcuffs, he told reporters he passed in the hall that his wife had framed him because he had called the police reporting that she was driving drunk.
The Suffolk County District Attorney’s office took the unusual step of sending Brad McGill, a supervising assistant district attorney to Southampton to assist with the arraignment. Lauren Golombek was the ADA who actually handled the arraignment, while Sheila Giuffrida of the Legal Aid Society represented Michael Lohan.
Michael Lohan continually spoke loudly to his attorney and the court about the case, saying that Kate Lohan had “fabricated” the charges. Wilson repeatedly warned him to speak solely through his attorney.
As she began to issue an order of protection, Giuffrida objected saying that Michael Lohan had sole custody of the couple’s two children via a Florida court order, and that Kate could only have “supervised” visits with the children, via a Florida court document. “I have to say that part of my decision has to be based on the welfare of the children,” Wilson said. When the court document from Florida was examined by the court, however, Wilson said she did not see the order the same way Michael Lohan did. Michael Lohan refused to sign the order of protection.
“The victim has been living in their house since August 2019. All her belongings are there,” Golombek said.
Kate Lohan was standing alongside Jamie Oswald, a victim’s advocate working for the DA’s office. “I have injuries on my neck. He strangled me,” Kate Lohan told the court. “The complaining witness is scared of the defendant,” Golombek said.
In the end, Wilson issued an order of protection that allowed both to stay at the Hampton Road residence, though not to communicate with each other. Wilson warned that the children were not to be used as go-betweens for the couple, and that she would contact the county’s children’s protective services division if she learned otherwise, and that the “court will take your children from both of you.”
“I’m being followed in my car everywhere I go,” Kate Lohan said.
Michael Lohan asked to addressed the court. After being warned of the possible consequences, he spoke, saying that Kate Lohan works at Colette in Sag Harbor, and that the owner of that shop had alerted him that “she found $8000 in stolen merchandise in her pocketbook” that had been stolen from her store.
While bail could not be set for the choking charge, under the criminal procedure laws recently enacted, Golombek successfully argued that the law does allow for other means of supervision, pointing out that Michael Lohan has a prior felony conviction for attempted assault, as well as a prior conviction for misdemeanor assault. Wilson agreed to order Michael Lohan to be outfitted with an electronic ankle bracelet with a GPS inside, which he must wear 24 hours a day.
Michael Lohan said that all this was being done to him “over a lie.” “She should be in some kind of treatment,” he said to the judge, who responded, “It appears to me that everyone in this house should be in some kind of treatment.”
Kate Lohan left the courthouse, weeping. “This is justice?” she asked, sobbing, as she got back into her sports car.
The handcuffs were removed from Michael Lohan, who was ordered to wait in the courtroom for officers from the county’s probation office to arrive and put the tracking bracelet on him. When they did so, he was told that he could bathe and shower with it on, but “no scuba diving or hot tubs.”