A Suffolk County Police detective has been suspended without pay and charged with boating while intoxicated after the boat he was operating Saturday struck another vessel in Southampton Town waters, injuring three people, authorities said.
Christopher Koltzan, 46, a veteran detective in the Seventh Precinct Squad who lives in East Quogue, was issued a desk appearance ticket, said Southampton Town Police Chief Steven Skrynecki.
An attorney for Koltzan could not be reached for comment Monday night.
In a statement Monday night, Suffolk County Assistant Police Commissioner Justin Meyers said: “The Suffolk County Police Department is aware of the charge against Christopher Koltzan and we are taking all appropriate actions. Koltzan has been suspended from the department without pay, and an SCPD internal affairs investigation has been opened and is underway.”
Koltzan was alone aboard his 26-foot Boston whaler at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday in Tiana Bay when his boat “collided” with a 27-foot Albemarle boat, which was being operated by a 78-year-old East Quogue man and had 10 people onboard, Skrynecki said.
“The collision caused three people from the other boat to be knocked out of the boat into the water,” Skrynecki said. “They were picked up by the remaining occupants of the boat.”
The three were treated at Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead for minor injuries, Skrynecki said.
U.S. Coast Guard officials and Southampton Bay constables first responded to the scene and informed a responding Southampton Town police sergeant that they suspected Koltzan was intoxicated.
“He had blurred eyes, slurred speech and seemed to be slow in processing,” Skrynecki said. “The sergeant observed him as well and asked him to submit to field sobriety testing. There was sufficient evidence developed to charge him.”
Skrynecki declined to say whether Koltzan submitted to the field sobriety test. He also went to the hospital for minor head injuries, police said.
Koltzan, who started at the Suffolk County Police Department in 1996, was paid $183,893 in 2016, according to Suffolk County payroll records.
“His police officer status did not offer him any exception to the violation of operating a boat while intoxicated,” Skrynecki said.
Both boats sustained minor damage but were operable, Skrynecki said. Koltzan is due in Southampton Town Justice Court at 1 p.m. on Sept. 22.