Southampton Village Police made a second arrest last week in connection with a large brawl that broke out during a private party at 230 Elm on Labor Day weekend.
A police officer on routine patrol last Wednesday morning, September 14, spotted village resident Andrew Porrata, 21, riding his bicycle on Miller Road. Mr. Porrata, they said, had several active charges against him stemming from the 230 Elm incident in the early morning hours of Saturday, September 3.
That morning, several fights broke out at the Elm Street catering hall, where a crowd of 300 was assembled, and police discharged pepper spray in an effort to tame and disburse the crowd after they said verbal commands to calm down were not followed. One police officer was injured during the incident, and another Southampton man, Michael N. Lacy, 20, was arrested after officers said he riled up the crowd.
According to Southampton Village Justice Court documents, at about 3:50 a.m. that Saturday, Mr. Porrata urged many people to “engage in tumultuous and violent conduct of a kind likely to create public alarm.” He refused to leave 230 Elm after being told several times by police to do so and hurled obscenities at the crowd and the police, which caused the crowd to continue fighting and converge on the officers, the documents state.
Court papers also charge that Mr. Porrata intentionally obstructed police by charging at them and riling up the crowd, “starting a riot situation with a crowd of approximately 300 people to converge on responding police officers.” When officers tried to arrest him that morning, the court documents said, he placed his hands on the ground and compressed his chest toward the ground, preventing police from handcuffing him.
Police said it was not practical to arrest him during the incident, but he was taken into custody last Wednesday at 10:22 a.m. and charged with riot in the second degree, inciting to riot and obstructing governmental administration in the second degree, all misdemeanors. He was also charged with disorderly conduct, a violation.
Mr. Porrata was remanded to the Suffolk County Jail in Riverside in lieu of $2,000 bail following an arraignment in Southampton Town Justice Court on Tuesday. Court officials said he was arraigned in the town court because he had an attorney who is paid by the state and that is where he was.
Meanwhile, Police Officer Michael Horstman, who was injured during the altercation at 230 Elm, was back to work, after having missed seven days, according to police.
Car Stolen In Sagaponack
Southampton Town Police said that a Mercedes-Benz was reported stolen last week from a Sagaponack home.
The car, a black 1999 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG, valued at approximately $45,000, was kept at a Sagaponack Road property for “storage and safekeeping” and was stolen sometime between 8 a.m. on Monday, September 12, and midnight on Friday, September 16, according to a police incident report.
“Keys were left inside the vehicle, where workers could see that it was unattended,” the report states.
A caretaker who reported the theft was the only one who was authorized to use the car, according to its owner, a 39-year-old Manhattan man, police said. The caretaker told officers he was not home at the time of the theft.
The report states that the case has been referred to the detective squad for a follow-up investigation.
No arrests have been made.