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Old Westbury man arrested after polls close for causing 'disturbance' at Village Hall, cops say

This is the Old Westbury Village Hall in

This is the Old Westbury Village Hall in the Town of North Hempstead on May 29, 2013. Credit: JC Cherubini

An Old Westbury man was arrested after causing a "disturbance" at Village Hall after polls closed Tuesday following a runoff election, police said.

Village police arrested Michael Ostad, 46, and charged him with obstructing governmental administration, trespass, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, according to court papers filed in First District Court in Hempstead.

Ostad voted earlier in the day but returned to Village Hall after polls closed, police chief Robert Glaser said in an interview.

According to the complaint, a police inspector asked Ostad to leave multiple times, but he refused and asked to see written language that said it was unlawful for him to be on the property.

At one point, he stepped toward the officer, "got into his face and chest bumped" him, according to the complaint. When the officer attempted to escort him from the building, Ostad began to "scream, curse, flail his arms in a violent manner" and yelled "do not touch me, and get off me," according to the complaint.

Ostad could not be reached for comment.

A village police sergeant watching the scene responded, and along with the inspector, tried to place Ostad under arrest and asked him to stop resisting, according to the complaint.

The officers removed Ostad from the building's front doors, but Ostad refused "lawful orders" and resisted being handcuffed, the complaint said.

He was arrested and taken to village police headquarters, according to the complaint. Glaser said Ostad was arraigned Wednesday, but he did not have information on Ostad's status.

The inspector reported swelling and pain to his left hand, and the sergeant complained of pain to her right forearm, according to the complaint.

The polls were closed by 9 p.m., and the Village Hall doors were locked, according to the complaint, which did not indicate how Ostad allegedly entered Village Hall. Ostad "did not have any official business to be on village hall property," according to the complaint.

Glaser described the scene as a "disturbance" and said the case is "pending."

The runoff race pitted challenger Leslie Fastenberg against incumbent trustee Andrew Weinberg. The village had certified a tie between the two in the June 16 election, which had been in dispute and resulted in several legal challenges.

In the runoff, Fastenberg appears to be leading, but absentee ballots must be counted.

A win for Fastenberg would throw control of the board to a new party, the New Voice of Old Westbury. She would join trustees Cory Baker and Marina Chimerine, New Voice of Old Westbury party members who beat incumbents in the June election. Weinberg, along with Deputy Mayor Michael Wolf and Mayor Fred Carillo, are part of the Old Westbury Party.


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