Scam artists, pirate hangings, sharks and even a turtle with a nail through its back were all stories that happened in the Hamptons in one of the most bizarre summers for crime that I can personally remember. Here are some reports from this past summer that kept us all captivated.
On June 15, the strangest car accident in the history of the Hamptons occurred when a Mercedes SUV crashed directly into the Carvel on Route 27 in Bridgehampton. The driver of the vehicle mistakenly hit the gas instead of the brake, crashed into a Lexus and then headed dead center into the Carvel. Nobody was injured and no charges were filed, but a lot of Carvel fans were upset because the store had to close down for a few days to take care of the damage.
In a sting that is fairly common in the Hamptons, six bartenders were arrested for serving alcohol to minors after police hired an undercover agent to crack down on underage drinking. The irony of the whole incident? Two of the six bartenders were under the age of 21.
On September 5, police received a call from a woman, apparently drunk, who said she saw a man hanging dead from a rope at the Puff & Putt Miniature Golf Course in Montauk 40 feet up. The man turned out to be a statue of Captain Jack Sparrow climbing up a rope. The woman apologized, and the firemen and the police that responded breathed a bit of relief and also, reportedly, laughed at the incident.
Things were very serious August 21 when a man who was brandishing a handgun and who was suicidal barricaded himself inside of his home in Sag Harbor. Police had a standoff for 90 minutes before it was finally determined that the gun he was using was of the BB-gun variety.
Remember the woman Nydia Vega who paid over 20 different people in the Hamptons with fake checks, used 17 different aliases and told people she was a rich heiress with an inheritance of $100 million. Well, she was sentenced finally this August and will be in jail for the next two to four years.
The Hamptons went crazy in early June when beaches shut down because a few shark fins were spotted in the water. Only these weren’t the scary sharks that eat people, but completely harmless basking sharks. But just because the word shark could get in the headline, the entire nation heard about the news. Reports on the “shark” sightings were up on NBC, Fox and CNN and prevented a lot of people from enjoying their summer vacation. We at Dan’s Papers did our best to straighten out that there was absolutely no danger to swimmers.
Hurricane Irene came and went with pretty much a whisper, although all of us acted like Katrina was coming to get us, and Long Island was going to sink into the ocean. The big news about Irene ended up being that it wasn’t really news.
A turtle in Sag Harbor was discovered in July with a nail driven through its back. The turtle was discovered by a homeowner, who brought it to the Wildlife Rescue Center, but a HUGE manhunt went out to find the person who purposely drove a nail through an animal’s back for what appeared to be for fun. The case has never been solved, but the turtle has been well taken care of at the Wildlife Rescue Center.
And then finally, there was the massive brawl that broke out in Southampton on September 8 that included over a dozen people when clubgoers began throwing chairs and fighting with one another, forcing police to use pepper spray to disperse the rowdy crowd.
It’s been quite the summer—let’s hope it keeps a little bit more quiet for the time being.