An online fundraiser is underway for an 18-year-old seriously injured in an assault following what police called a road rage incident in East Hampton Village in August.
David Sebastian Peralta-Mera, a college student who was working as a server at Dopo La Spiaggia restaurant in East Hampton, is at home in Springs recovering from emergency surgery which required the removal of his skull cap to stem bleeding to his brain. His attorney Edmond Chakmakian said he is suffering from cognitive issues.
“He survived dangerous brain surgery, but was left with hospital bills approaching $100,000,” Kurt Wenzel wrote on the GoFundMe.com page he set up on behalf of Peralta-Mera’s “Dopo family” on September 20. “Any financial relief you could offer David and his family would be a great help during an extremely difficult time,” he said.
Peralta-Mera, an East Hampton High School graduate who was supposed to start his junior year at St. John’s University, filed a civil suit against the alleged perpetrator, Charles Harrison Streep, the 31-year-old nephew of the actress Meryl Streep, in September. Chakmakian said he has also asked the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office to pursue hate crime charges, claiming Streep spewed racial epithets at his Latino client during the attack in the Chase Bank parking lot.
Police said Streep attacked the teen when Peralta-Mera turned his Ford Mustang onto the Circle from Main Street and came close to Streep’s Audi A5 convertible on the morning of August 24. Streep put Peralta-Mera in a chokehold, lift him into the air by his throat, and threw him down on the ground, police said in documents filed in court.
Streep, who fled the scene before police arrived, was arrested three days later on August 27 at his parents’ Pondview Lane home. He was charged with second-degree assault and second-degree strangulation, both classified as violent felonies. He was freed after putting up $5,000 to cover a $50,000 bond.
He is due in East Hampton Town Justice Court for an appearance on October 8.