For the second time in three weeks, East Hampton Town police have charged a man with drunken driving after a hit-and-run accident in downtown Montauk sent its victim to the hospital.
Nicholas John Ferguson, 24, of Manhattan, was behind the wheel of a 2014 Porsche SUV early Sunday morning, police said, headed west on South Emerson Street, approaching the dogleg turn into South Eton Street, when his vehicle crossed into the oncoming lane of traffic and struck the side of an oncoming 2004 Honda Accord. The Honda suffered heavy damage, with the door crumpling upon impact, causing the driver-side window to shatter.
The driver of the Honda, Mohammad Islam, complained of pain in his leg, neck, and head, and was taken to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, where he was treated and eventually released.
After impact, Ferguson kept driving, running the stop sign at Eton and Montauk Highway, as he made a quick left turn onto the highway, police said. An officer saw him make the allegedly illegal turn without signaling or stopping, and immediately pulled him over. Ferguson reportedly told the officer that his two passengers, a 20-year-old and a 21-year-old, were very intoxicated. “I was the least [drunk] and I did what I had to do,” he told police.
The car Ferguson was driving was registered to David Anderson of Locust Valley, according to police. Both vehicles were towed away by Marshall and Sons, a Montauk service station.
Besides the misdemeanor charges of driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident with an injury, the arresting officer wrote Ferguson up for seven traffic infractions, including driving without insurance.
At headquarters, Ferguson refused to take a breath test.
Ferguson was arraigned in East Hampton Town Justice Court later Sunday morning. He told Justice Lisa Rana that he is a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch. He was represented by Carl Irace, who was on hand as part of the weekend lawyer program.
Justice Rana asked Ferguson about who represented him when he was arrested in Northport in January 2017. Ferguson replied that he couldn’t remember. She asked about his connection to East Hampton. Irace said that his grandparents have a boat docked in a Montauk marina, and that Ferguson has been visiting Montauk for many years. Justice Rana said that it appeared that the 2017 misdemeanor drug possession charges had eventually been adjourned in contemplation of dismissal, meaning that as long as Ferguson stayed out of trouble for a set period of time, usually six months, the charges would be dropped.
“This is a very different situation,” she said, as she set bail at $3000. Ferguson posted bail at police headquarters. Justice Rana also suspended Ferguson’s license for a year, pending a hearing at the Department of motor Vehicles, for refusing to take the breath test.
As he was led away from the courthouse, Ferguson appeared to give the “shaka” sign with his right hand, a surfer’s greeting with Hawaiian origins. The sign means, essentially, “everything’s cool.”
Three weeks before last weekend’s incident, Jose Romero-Flores, 33, was charged with misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident after he allegedly struck a Manhattan journalist, Sofia Pitt, 26, with the van he was driving. Pitt had been crossing Main Street between the Memory Motel and the Point Bar and Lounge at the time. Pitt was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital, the nearest facility with a level one trauma center. She spent at least 10 days at the hospital, before she was released.