Jul 26, 2014

Cops: Drunken Driver Found Sitting on Passengers' Laps

While driver booked on drunken driving charges, teenaged passenger arrested on a bench warrant.

Cops: Drunken Driver Found Sitting on Passengers' Laps

The following information was supplied by the East Hampton Town Police Department. A criminal charge is only an accusation and does not indicate guilt.

Police arrested the driver and a passenger after a traffic stop on a dirt road in East Hampton on Oct. 21.

Police said James D. Selberg-Stross, 22, of East Hampton, tried to pretend he wasn't the driver after police pulled him over at about 8:30 p.m., but he was ultimately charged with drunken driving.

According to police, they saw him driving on Route 114, near Cove Hollow Road, at a rate of 53 mph in a 30 mph zone when he made a quick right turn down a dirt driveway leading to a LIPA substation Police initiated a traffic stop, and saw the driver maneuver into the back of the car.

When police approached they saw no one sitting in the driver's seat, but rather the defendant sitting "disheveled on the laps of the two rear passengers." All four people in the car were asked to step out for an interview. Police said none of their stories were consistent.

Meanwhile, one of the passengers, a 17-year-old from East Hampton, was arrested on an active bench warrant out of Southampton Town. According to Southampton Town police, he failed to appear in court on weapons and menacing charges dating back to December 2012.

Selberg-Stross' license had been revoked several times between 2011 and 2013, including for a previous charge of driving while ability impaired in 2012 and refusing to take a chemical test after a DWI arrest in April, police said. While placing him under arrest, police said they found a smoking device with a green leafy substance — that later tested positive for marijuana — in his pockets. He was taken to headquarters where he refused to take a breath test, police said.

Later, he complained of head pain and was transported to Southampton Hospital for observation, and then released back into police custody.

Charged with first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a felony, and driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor, as well as unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation, he was arraigned in East Hampton Justice Court the next day. Justice Lisa R. Rana set bail at $5,000 cash and $15,000 bond and he was held at the Suffolk County jail in Riverside. He was released from jail on Oct. 24, according to jail records.


• Wilson J. Leon, 35, of Springs, was arrested after a domestic incident. A woman told police she was laying in bed with her 1-year-old son when Leon jumped on top of her, grabbed her right arm, forcing it over her head, causing bruising. She pushed Leon away and tried to grab her cellphone, but he grabbed it from her and walked out of the bedroom. She got dressed, grabbed her son and drove to police headquarters. Police were not able to find Leon that night and left him a message. He called back the next day and said his attorney would contact police. He turned himself in on Oct. 16 at about 9:50 p.m. He was charged with criminal contempt in the first degree, a felony, criminal mischief in the fourth degree, a misdemeanor, and second-degree harassment, a violation. He was released on $350 bail.

• Luis A. Refugio, 22, of East Hampton, was arrested after he allegedly drove drunk without a license on Oct. 27. Police said they stopped him on Three Mile Harbor-Hog Creek Road, near Will Curl Highway, in Springs when they saw him speeding near Copeces Lane at about 3:10 a.m. Police said he was doing 53 mph in a 40 mph zone and crossed over the pavement markings into the shoulder several times. He failed field sobriety tests and was arrested at 3:30 a.m. Police found his license was revoked on Feb. 20, 2013 related to a charge of driving while ability impaired. He was charged first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a felony, and driving while intoxicated. He car was impounded. He was released on $1,000 bail.

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