A Sagaponack man accused of setting fire to an unoccupied multimillion-dollar Water Mill home has a history of mental issues, his attorney said Monday.
Attorney Brian J. DeSesa requested a mental evaluation for his client, David Osiecki, 64, and entered a not guilty plea to third- and fifth-degree arson charges at Osiecki's arraignment in Southampton Town Court.
Judge Andrea Harum-Schiavoni agreed to the request, setting Osiecki's bail at $500,000, cash or bond. Osiecki remained in custody last night.
Harum-Schiavoni held off on granting the prosecution's request for an order of protection against Osiecki until the evaluation was done because it was unclear whether he understood what was being said or happening in court. It was not clear Monday whom the order of protection was meant to protect. Osiecki is due back in court on May 15.
In court papers, he admitted to starting the fire at 187 Dune Rd. on Saturday and a brush fire the day before on Hayground Road in Bridgehampton.
Police did not give a motive for setting the blaze, which heavily damaged the oceanfront home. Southampton Town police Det. Sgt. Lisa Costa said there was evidence at the house that led them to Osiecki but she declined to say what it was.
Osiecki said he went to Hayground Road to "burn the cellphone towers and the train tracks," according to court papers.
Suffolk County property records list Ziel Feldman and his wife, Helene, as owners of the Dune Road property.
Costa said Osiecki and Feldman know each other but declined to elaborate.
The Feldmans live in Manhattan, where Ziel Feldman is the founder and managing principal of HFZ Capital Group, a real estate investment and development company based there, according to the company website.
As he was being led into the court building Monday, Osiecki yelled, "I wanted to save my friend's life." He also said he wanted to get his friend's art to Norway. It was unclear to whom Osiecki was referring.
DeSesa, a Sag Harbor attorney, said his client's history of "mental health conditions or issues" go back at least a decade, but declined to elaborate.
In court, Osiecki told the judge that he had received mental health treatment and medication in the past.
DeSesa said his client spent about a month at Stony Brook University Hospital late last year.
With Gary Dymski