The nephew of actress Meryl Streep strangled and slammed the head of a man whom he attacked after a road rage incident in East Hampton, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday that says the victim suffered permanent neurological damage.
Charles Harrison Streep, 31, was arrested at an East Hampton home Aug. 27 and charged with second-degree assault and second-degree strangulation, East Hampton police said. He caused the victim to have serious head trauma that required emergency surgery, police said.
Edmond C. Chakmakian, attorney for 18-year-old David Sebastian Peralta-Mera, filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Manhattan Supreme Court. The lawsuit alleges that on the morning of Aug. 24, Streep “physically assaulted” Peralta-Mera during an unprovoked attack that the suit says was “intentional, malicious and racially motived, as evidenced by defendant spewing racial slurs during the attack.”
Chakmakian, whose office is based in Hauppauge, said Wednesday afternoon, that before the attack Streep blew past a stop sign and almost struck his client, who was in his brand new 2020 Ford Mustang.
The two drivers exchanged words, and Peralta-Mera, a resident of East Hampton Village, told Streep he ran a stop sign, which then prompted Streep to make a U-turn in his Audi convertible, Chakmakian said. Streep then physically confronted the teen while he was parked at a Chase Bank’s parking lot on Main Street, Chakmakian said.
Following the attack, Peralta-Mera had to undergo emergency surgery that included removal of his skull cap to stem bleeding, his attorney said. Peralta-Mera, who was set to begin his sophomore year at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, faces an uncertain future with "permanent cognitive deficits," the suit says.
Manhattan-based attorney Andrew J. Weinstein said Wednesday he is representing Streep in his criminal case. He had no additional comment on the criminal case or lawsuit. Streep, who was released on $5,000 bail, could not be reached Wednesday and it was not clear whether he had retained an attorney in the civil case.
Chakmakian’s lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary punitive damages.