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May 29, 2017 10:54 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Montauk Man Charged With Assaulting Woman In Her Home On Saturday Night

May 30, 2017 2:59 PM

A Montauk resident working at the U.S. Coast Guard Station violently attacked a woman after entering her home while she was sleeping on Saturday night, sending her to the hospital, according to East Hampton Town Police.

Police said Petty Officer Matthew Patrick McGee, 22, entered the home on Essex Street through an unlocked back door and found the 67-year-old resident while she was in her bed, then physically assaulted her until she was able to escape and get help from her husband, who was in another room, and dialed 911.

Town Police Captain Christopher Anderson said Petty Officer McGee and the victim, Margaret “Dee” Burke, do not know each other. The captain said Petty Officer McGee was impaired by “some kind of intoxicant,” but that he did not know specifically what the intoxicant was.

“It is unclear as to why he was in the house,” Capt. Anderson said of Petty Officer McGee, adding that he could not further discuss the details of the case because the investigation is ongoing.

Reached by phone on Monday night, the victim’s husband, Jay Burke, confirmed that his wife had been sleeping in a downstairs bedroom to avoid his snoring when Petty Officer McGee entered the house.

Petty Officer McGee is accused of having choked, punched and bitten Ms. Burke until she was able to escape the downstairs bedroom and start to climb back up the stairs, at which point Mr. Burke heard her screaming for help and dialed 911.

When the couple went back downstairs to look for their dog, they found the downstairs bedroom door locked. When police arrived, they kicked the door down, Capt. Anderson confirmed, and “after a brief struggle” apprehended the suspect.

Petty Officer McGee was arrested at 11:35 p.m. and charged with burglary in the first degree, a class B felony, as well as assault in the third degree, criminal obstruction of breathing and resisting arrest, all class A misdemeanors. Capt. Anderson noted that he has no prior criminal record or arrests.

Ms. Burke was transported to Southampton Hospital to be treated for her injuries, which police did not describe.

Mr. Burke declined to discuss details from the night of the attack but confirmed reports of what had taken place.

“The response from family and friends have been overwhelming,” he said. “My wife has a quote: ‘Hatred contaminates the vessel that contains it.’ We’re not looking for vengeance—we’re looking for the truth.”

The U.S. Coast Guard confirmed on Monday that Matthew Patrick McGee is a petty officer 3rd class at the Montauk station. He was represented at his arraignment before East Hampton Town Justice Lisa R. Rana on Monday morning by attorney Brian DeSesa of Bridgehampton, who said Petty Officer McGee has been living in Montauk for approximately two and a half years.

Bail, which was set at $30,000, had not been posted as of Tuesday morning, and he remained in custody.

Petty Officer McGee is due to return to court on Thursday, June 1.

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