The passenger of a car whose driver had just been arrested on a drunken-driving charge was arrested on the same charge after police said he hopped into the driver's seat -- and attempted to flee from an officer on the Long Island Expressway on Friday morning in Old Westbury.
Passenger turned would-be driver Harris Morales, 38, of 20 Townhouse Rd. S., Huntington Station, was arrested and charged with two counts of driving while intoxicated, aggravated DWI and having an open alcohol container in a vehicle.
Nassau County police identified the man driving the 2001 Nissan when it was first stopped on the eastbound LIE near Exit 38, which connects to the Northern State Parkway, at 3:20 a.m. as Phillip Marsh, 31, of 17 Lake Dr., Wyandanch. He also was charged with two counts of DWI and with having an open container of alcohol. Additionally, he was cited for speeding, failure to stay in a single lane and having an uninspected motor vehicle, police said.
Police said that after spotting the Nissan speeding, a Highway Patrol Bureau officer observed Marsh failing to maintain his lane -- and initiated a traffic stop. An investigation determined Marsh was under the influence of alcohol, police said, and he was arrested.
But police said that, as the officer was placing Marsh into the rear of his patrol car, Morales "entered the driver's seat" of the Nissan -- then "placed the car into drive and attempted to pull away."
The officer pulled his patrol unit in front of the Nissan to block it, then took Morales into custody when he "exhibited signs of intoxication."
Both Marsh and Morales were arraigned Friday. Morales was held on a $2,500 bail and Marsh released on his own recognizance.
With Ellen Yan