A New Jersey man visiting a family member’s Sag Harbor summer home with his fiancée last weekend, tumbled off the end of Long Wharf Saturday night and drowned.
Suffolk County Homicide Detectives identified the man as Christopher Valentine, 56, of Parsippany, N.J. There was no evidence of criminality, a spokesperson for the county homicide department said, and it appears as if Valentine, who was at the end of the wharf with his fiancée, fell into the water accidentally. The spokesperson said Valentine had been drinking and was likely intoxicated at the time.
Sag Harbor Village Police confirmed Valentine’s death on Monday morning, and due to the nature of the incident, referred the case to Suffolk County Homicide. The local department regularly refers such cases to the county for investigation.
Valentine and his fiancée — whom police are not identifying — had walked together to the end of the wharf shortly before 9 p.m. and sat for a while on the bench in the northwest corner of the wharf, police reported. A short time later he fell into the water, estimated to be about 60 degrees, but it is unclear how that occurred. It is also unclear how long Valentine was in the water.
According to Sag Harbor Police Detective Paul Fabiano, a passing motorist notified police about the incident. Sources also indicate the woman was apparently injured in a fall on the wharf, although she never wound up in the water.
The man was pulled from the water by Sag Harbor Police with the aid of the Sag Harbor Harbor Master, and taken by the Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance Corps — who performed CPR in an attempt to revive him — to Southampton Hospital for medical treatment. He was pronounced dead at 10:50 p.m.
The case is still under investigation with the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office and the homicide squad. Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the incident to contact Detective Jeffrey Proctor of the Sag Harbor Police Department, 725-0623. All calls will remain confidential.