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Aug 7, 2008 4:54 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Bouncer dies after assault in Southampton

Aug 7, 2008 4:54 PM

A 40-year-old corrections officer from Hampton Bays, who was left in a coma following an assault early Thursday morning at the Southampton Publick House, where he was moonlighting as an ID checker, died on Saturday morning at the Stony Brook University Medical Center. His assailant was arrested minutes later by Southampton Village Police.

The death of Andrew P. Reister, a husband and father of two young children, marks the first murder in Southampton Village in 20 years, according to Southampton Village Police. Suffolk County Police homicide detectives have been aiding Village Police in the criminal investigation ever since it became apparent that Mr. Reister would likely die from his injuries.

Village Police said that Mr. Reister, a corrections officer for the Suffolk County Sheriff’s office, was attacked and choked at the Southampton Publick House shortly after 1 a.m. on Thursday by 25-year-old Anthony Oddone of Farmingville, after telling him to stop dancing on a table.

Witnesses told police that Mr. Oddone put Mr. Reister in a choke hold and did not let go even after Mr. Reister had passed out, causing severe brain damage and leaving him in a coma. Several people tried to stop Mr. Oddone, who is 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighs 175 pounds, according to the New York City Department of Correction. They performed CPR on Mr. Reister after Mr. Oddone fled the Bowden Square micro-brewery in a taxicab, police said.

Southampton Village Police were called to the scene at around 1:10 a.m., and Mr. Oddone was apprehended minutes later on North Sea Road, just north of the County Road 39 intersection.

Meanwhile, the Southampton Village Volunteer Ambulance took Mr. Reister to Southampton Hospital and he was later transferred to Stony Brook University Medical Center, where he died at 11:08 a.m. on Saturday, according to Suffolk County Police. Mr. Reister had been listed in critical condition and was still in the intensive care unit on Friday, according to a spokesman for the hospital.

The chief said the last murder in Southampton Village occurred in May 1988 when Gordon Scott Mosley shot two men, killing Samuel DeBoard and injuring Roger Miller Jr. in a dispute over $120 worth of drugs. Mr. Mosely was convicted of murder and attempted murder.

In a release issued through the hospital on Friday, Mr. Reister’s wife, Stacey Reister, said, “We thank the public for their support, and at this time we ask people for their thoughts and prayers for Andrew and his family.”

“They told my sister to be prepared for the worst,” Susan Dean of Hampton Bays, Ms. Reister’s sister, said of the night of the assault.

She added that, at the request of his family, doctors were preparing to donate Mr. Reister’s organs.

The Reisters have a 4-year-old daughter, Mary Grace, and 8-year-old son, David, Ms. Dean said. Mr. Reister is also the godfather of her three children, she added.

“He is a wonderful, wonderful man ...,” Ms. Dean said. “You could only say nice things about him.” She then described the attack as a senseless act of violence that will forever change the lives of his family. Though alcohol most likely played a role in the assault, Ms. Dean said, “People have to be responsible for their actions.”

Mr. Oddone, an employee of the exclusive Bridge golf club in Noyac and an alumnus of St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, where he studied accounting and business, was arraigned in Southampton Village Justice Court on Thursday afternoon and pleaded not guilty to felony assault charges.

However, now that Mr. Reister has died, those criminal charges are expected to be upgraded to murder in the second degree, a felony that carries a potential sentence of 25 years to life.

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office had no word on Monday afternoon on when a grand jury could indict Mr. Oddone. “Grand jury proceedings are secret by law,” spokesman Robert Clifford said.

At his court appearance on Thursday afternoon, Mr. Oddone wore the jail-issued white jumpsuit and brown paper slippers he was provided after his clothes were collected as evidence. As many as seven police officers were present at the arraignment. At least one relative of Mr. Reister, his brother James, was present as well.

The arraignment began shortly after Mr. Oddone’s attorney, Adrienne Wallace, arrived, but a five-minute recess was called when she told the judge she had not yet had the opportunity to interview her client. When the arraignment resumed, Ms. Wallace requested that bail be set between $10,000 and $20,000, saying that the range fit Mr. Oddone’s family’s means. Instead, Village Justice Michael Solomon, citing the seriousness of the incident and the high probability that Mr. Reister would die, set bail at $500,000.

Rather than being sent to the Suffolk County Jail in Riverhead in lieu of bail, Mr. Oddone was taken to Rikers Island, a jail operated by the New York City Department of Correction, officials from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s office said on Monday. If Mr. Oddone was jailed at Riverhead, he would have been under the supervision of Mr. Reister’s colleagues.

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