Cops: Wrong-way driver on Wantagh Parkway arrested

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A motorist who went the wrong way on the Wantagh State Parkway was arrested in North Wantagh after troopers stopped traffic and set up a roadblock, State Police said Monday.

Norman Russek, 71, of Little Neck, was first spotted about 8:10 p.m. Sunday going north on the southbound parkway in Wantagh, near the Merrick Road exit, and was arrested near the Southern State Parkway, police said.

Troopers set up a road block north of where Russek's Nissan had last been seen, police said, but the Nissan went around the first marked unit.

Troopers were able to stop him just south of the Southern State Parkway, police said, about 2 miles from where he was first spotted.

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Russek told officers that he got confused approaching the Jones Beach tolls on the parkway.

He said he turned around there because the tolls were closed, police said, and he didn't realize that motorists should merge to continue southbound.

He was issued tickets for reckless driving, a misdemeanor, speeding, failing to comply with a lawful police order and driving the wrong way. He was released with a Feb. 24 court date.

Troopers filed paperwork to have Russek's driving privileges reviewed.

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