East Hampton Town police made two arrests this past week on felony charges. One of them, a Springs man, Luis Vizhnay-Puzhi, 26, may be facing jail time.
Vizhnay-Puzhi was driving a 2005 Nissan on Pantigo Road east of Skimhampton Road early afternoon Saturday, September 21, when, according to the police, he made an illegal U-turn across the road, striking a 2008 Ford headed in the opposite direction. This was done with a patrol officer looking on, according to the police.
The officer wrote Vizhnay-Puzhi up for numerous traffic infractions and charged him with driving while intoxicated. The charge is a felony due to a prior DWI conviction in East Hampton on his record within the past five years.
In addition, Vizhnay-Puzhi has had his driving privileges suspended or revoked at least a couple of times in the past few years, once for the DWI conviction, and another time for leaving the scene of an accident where a person was injured. That led to another felony charge of unlicensed driving.
At police headquarters, a blood alcohol level breath test showed an alleged reading of .29 of one percent, which was high enough to raise the felony DWI charge to the aggravated level. A reading of .31 or higher would have triggered an automatic trip to the hospital to prevent possible blood poisoning.
“You very well could do jail time as a result of these charges,” East Hampton Town Justice Lisa Rana warned as she set bail at $7500, which was posted later that day.
In other East Hampton news, a Bronx man is facing a felony assault charge after allegedly shoving a 74-year-old relative backward to the pavement, hard enough to open a large gash on the back of the victim’s head, East Hampton town police said. The altercation occurred Friday evening, September 20, on Pine Street, ending with the arrest of Peter Savasta, 54.
An assault on anyone over the age of 65 by someone 10 or more years younger is classified as a felony, under the state’s penal code.
The victim, who required five staples to close his head wound, gave a detailed statement to police at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, where he was taken by ambulance following the incident. He told police that he and his wife have been living full time on Pine Street for the past five years, after using the address as a second home for 40 years.
His relatives, including Savasta, stay at the house next door. The alleged victim said that he and his wife have been having their differences with Savasta recently.
When the alleged victim and his wife arrived home at about 7:30 PM on September 20, Savasta had pulled some plastic sawhorses off of his property, and placed them on Pine Street, effectively blocking the man’s driveway, the husband and wife told police.
A confrontation quickly ensued, with both men giving police very different accounts of what had happened. Savasta said that his relative was the one to instigate the confrontation, slapping him in the face. The alleged victim said that Savasta had come up to him aggressively, knocking his baseball cap off his head, before shoving him.
With no prior arrests in his record, Savasta was released the next morning without bail, but with a stern warning from Rana, after she had issued an order of protection for the alleged victim.