The Greenport man who allegedly slashed a man and woman with a machete inside a Second Street home earlier this month admitted to attacking the victims in a drunken rage after he found his girlfriend naked with another man, according to sworn witness testimony, police reports and a confession to police obtained by The Suffolk Times.
Now prosecutors say 26-year-old Esvin Rolando Escobar of Greenport — who was caught in Rhode Island last Thursday after fleeing the scene of the attack — may be charged with attempted murder.
Mr. Escobar pleaded not guilty to a felony assault charge and was held on $100,000 cash bail or $300,000 bond at his arraignment in Southold Town Justice Court Thursday morning. But Town Justice Brian Hughes indicated it’d be unlikely Mr. Escobar would get the opportunity to be free on bail because he is being held by Homeland Security authorities as an undocumented immigrant.
In a signed confession taken the day he was apprehended in Rhode Island, Mr. Escobar claims the attack began when the female victim texted him that she was with a friend. Mr. Escobar told police he got “very mad and felt craziness” when he went to the house.
According to the female victim’s statement to Southold Town police on the day of the alleged attack, she opened the door for Mr. Escobar and told him that the friend was upstairs.
“Ervin pushed me to the ground and ran upstairs,” the statement reads. “All of I sudden I heard screaming.” The victim said she found Mr. Escobar attacking the friend in a bathroom with a machete she owns and kept in the house.
Mr. Escobar slashed the victim with a machete numerous times, causing “serious lacerations about the head, face, and back resulting in significant blood loss, numerous stitches and likely permanent scarring,” according to a criminal complaint filed in Southold Town Justice Court. A police incident report states Mr. Escobar became jealous when he saw the woman was naked with another man in the house.
During the attack, the woman attempted to stop Mr. Escobar, but he turned to push her and cut her with the machete. Mr. Escobar claims he didn’t realize he cut the female victim.
“I lost thought of what I was doing,” Mr. Escobar states in the signed confession. “I was very jealous.” The confession also states that Mr. Escobar had been drinking, which he said added to his rage.
“I am sorry that this happened,” he added.
Mr. Escobar fled the scene of the assault, police said. Officers were called to the scene and found the male victim bloodied outside the house, according to the incident report. The female was found lying naked and bleeding on the floor, according to the report. Both were treated by Greenport ambulance volunteers and taken to a local hospital.
An update on their condition was not immediately available Thursday.
Mr. Escobar remained wanted by police until last Thursday, when Southold detectives, Rhode Island State Police and members of the U.S. Marshal’s New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force located and caught the man in Rhode Island.
Mr. Escobar was read his Miranda rights and waived them to speak with detectives, according to court documentation from Aug. 18 obtained by The Suffolk Times. He was brought before a Rhode Island court and waived extradition.
However, it took nearly a week before Mr. Escobar was brought back to Southold Town and arraigned on the felony first-degree assault charge. That delay meant Mr. Escobar was held longer than is legally allowed before being indicted by a grand jury, argued his Legal Aid attorney Emily Miller.
Under New York penal law, all defendants accused of felony offenses in local courts must be indicted within six days or be freed, to ensure the accused are not held indefinitely. Ms. Miller argued that Mr. Escobar was originally taken into custody last Thursday, so the date to indict him had already expired.
“Any holding of my client in custody would be beyond that six-day limit,” she said in Southold Town court Thursday. However, Justice Hughes said that while Mr. Escobar had been taken into custody on that date, he hadn’t been processed on the local charges. As a result, the deadline for a grand jury indictment had not yet been set.
At the arraignment Thursday, Suffolk County assistant district attorney Patrick Fedun said Mr. Escobar — who was escorted into court in the same black button-down shirt he wore in his mugshot — had previously tried to enter the country illegally, but was caught and deported. He is currently in the country without a visa, police said.
Mr. Fedun asked for $250,000 cash bail to be set to hold Mr. Escobar. Ms. Miller stated Mr. Escobar had no prior arrests and had been living in Greenport for more than a year with family in the area. Mr. Escobar worked as a farm laborer, she added, asking that bail be set at $10,000 cash.
The court issued orders of protection for both victims barring Mr. Escobar from being near them. He is due back in court Tuesday.