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East Hampton weekend starts with 300 calls to police

Young people flock to Montauk in the summer.

Young people flock to Montauk in the summer. Credit: Newsday / Aaron Zebrook

The first weekend of an intensified scrutiny on hard partying in Montauk resulted in 300 calls to police by midday Sunday, with a third of those coming from the hamlet, East Hampton Town Police Chief Michael Sarlo said.

Though the tally included calls made townwide and not just in Montauk, the unofficial start of summer brought many of the same complaints police got all last summer, most notably during the July Fourth weekend, which had a record 464 complaint calls.

Complaints thus far on the Memorial Day weekend included public urination, open containers of alcohol, parking problems and litter, Sarlo said Sunday. July Fourth weekend problems last year prompted demands by Montauk residents to not let it happen again.

Sarlo said his officers issued about 45 town code summonses on the Montauk beaches and in the business district. They also wrote 30 parking tickets and arrested four people, including two for drunken driving.

There were no summonses issued for noise violations, however, Sarlo noted. Noise complaints about loud bars and parties were a top problem last summer.

Sarlo said that despite the large volume of calls from the start of the Memorial Day weekend, “It’s been busy but fairly orderly.

“Most of our issues have revolved around taxi congestion near the bars,” he said.

After last summer’s public outcry, a number of measures were put into place to try to bring the summer partying situation under control.

Officials said more police were made available for Montauk patrols; parking was eliminated in areas where there had been traffic problems; bars, nightclubs and restaurants are now required to keep crowds from going beyond the legal capacity; summer planning meetings were held between police and business owners; beach fires must be in metal containers; and a new rental registry law was put into effect to help prevent overcrowding at houses that attract young summer renters.

East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell was not immediately available for comment Sunday.

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