Three men looking for work knocked on the wrong door on Rysam Street and ended up under arrest June 5. Now, at least one of them may be headed for deportation.
Antonie Chin, 34, of Riverhead, Marco Saban, 36, of Southampton, and Hector Velasquez, 24, of Riverhead, had all apparently been drinking when, at about 4 PM, they began knocking on a door, thinking it was the home of the owner of a landscaping company from whom they were seeking work.
After repeatedly knocking, one of them tried the door, which was unlocked. They then stepped into the foyer.
The landscaper lived next door. The owner of the house they had just entered, Howard Krotman, came down the stairs towards them, holding the collar of his German shepherd. “What are you here for?” Krotman told police he shouted as he approached the three while holding back the dog.
The three left, with Krotman shouting after them to get off his property, according to his statement. Krotman then called police with a description of the three men, who were soon stopped by an officer.
Krotman identified the three who had been stopped as the same men who had entered his house, and they were placed under arrest, each charged with trespassing, a misdemeanor. None of them had money for stationhouse bail to be made.
Justice Lisa Rana, Sag Harbor Village’s judge, was on the bench in East Hampton Town Justice Court the next morning. After being held overnight, the men were brought to East Hampton to be arraigned. None of them spoke English, and the arraignments were conducted through an interpreter.
Chin went before Justice Rana first. Justice Rana said that he had one prior arrest on a misdemeanor assault charge, for which “he did some jail time.” Bail was set at $250, which was eventually posted.
Saban was the second to be arraigned. He was shaking violently enough, from what a court officer termed “The DTs,” that he could not stand. Bail was initially set at $250, but he was ultimately released so that he could be taken to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, where he was admitted to be treated for his condition.
The third defendant had been identified to the court as Survy or Eduardo Velasquez. However, when police ran his fingerprints, they came up with a different first name. His arraignment was deferred for 24 hours, to allow police to sort out his identity.
The next morning, back in Sag Harbor, he was again brought before Justice Rana, now with a second misdemeanor charge, false personation. His attorney, Rita Bonicelli, entered a not guilty plea for Velasquez, whose lip was trembling. He appeared to be holding back tears. Bonicelli told the court Velasquez was a day laborer who had been looking for work and had knocked on the wrong door.
“The complaining witness does not speak Spanish, and my client does not speak English,” she said. “I believe there is a detainer,” she added. The U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement agency had sent the police a request to hold Velasquez.
Bail was set at $500, $250 for each misdemeanor. He was taken to the county jail in Riverside. If he were to post the bail now, he would be held for an additional 48 hours, to allow ICE agents to come and pick him up. He is scheduled to be brought back to court Friday.