Suffolk County prosecutors Thursday reduced felony charges to misdemeanors against the nephew of actress Meryl Streep in an alleged road rage attack that left a man with serious head trauma this past summer in East Hampton.
Charles Harrison Streep now faces misdemeanor assault and strangulation charges for an Aug. 24 attack on a then 18-year-old East Hampton man, a spokesperson for Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini said in a statement Thursday. The reduction to misdemeanor charges decreases Streep’s potential prison sentence from between three to six years, to a maximum of one year, the spokeswoman said.
"In this and all cases, the Office investigates the facts and brings the legally appropriate charges based on those facts," the statement read. "This incident was captured on video and the charges brought against the defendant are the appropriate charges under the law."
The development in the case unfolded Thursday during a hearing at East Hampton Town Justice Court, authorities said.
Streep was 31 when he was arrested at an East Hampton home Aug. 27 and charged with second-degree assault and second-degree strangulation, East Hampton police said. The victim sustained serious head trauma that required emergency surgery, police said.
Streep’s Manhattan-based attorney Andrew J. Weinstein, said in a statement Thursday: "Today’s proceedings simply confirm what we have said all along — that Mr. Streep was innocent of both of the serious violent felony offenses with which he was charged. Mr. Streep is extremely grateful that both of the felony charges have now been dismissed."
Hauppauge attorney Edmond C. Chakmakian is representing East Hampton resident David Sebastian Peralta-Mera. Peralta-Mera, was 18 when Streep blew past a stop sign and almost struck his client, who was in his brand new 2020 Ford Mustang, Chakmakian said. The men exchanged words, Streep physically confronted the teen and attacked him requiring Peralta-Mera to undergo emergency surgery that included removal of his skull cap, Chakmakian had told Newsday.
In September, Chakmakian filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court alleging the attack was "intentional, malicious and racially motivated" and resulted in Peralta-Mera sustaining permanent neurological damage.
Weinstein said in the statement Streep was "equally grateful that the District Attorney’s office rejected the misguided lobbying effort by Mr. Peralta’s counsel to have this case prosecuted as a hate crime."
Chakmakian said in a statement Thursday: "Whether Streep’s violent outburst was motivated by hate, perceived privilege, or whether he just flew into a ‘manic rage’ (as one eyewitness has described it), make no mistake: he will be taken to task both criminally and civilly."