A Honda speeding on Ocean Parkway crashed at a Jones Beach parking field late Tuesday afternoon and the driver bailed out, setting off an hourslong, fruitless manhunt that was called off just before nightfall, authorities said.
State parks police, joined by Nassau and state police, searched by air and foot, while police dogs tracked him to the heavy brush by Field 4 and no further, state police said.
The man had refused to stop when a state parks police officer tried to pull him over, police said, and officers later found forged or stolen credit cards in his car.DataLI crime stats
But police believe the suspect may be a Brooklyn man with a suspended learner's permit because it was inside a wallet found in the car, as well as a cellphone, said a law enforcement source familiar with the case.
The pursuit started shortly after 5 p.m. when the parks officer noticed the driver going at least 80 mph east on Ocean Parkway, the source said.
State Police said the driver crashed the Honda in the Field 4 parking lot and ran off into the thick shrubbery. The Honda, a rental car, had hit a foot-high curb, smashing the front of the car and bending the axle, the source said.
Authorities are hopeful he'll be found, saying he's on a barrier island and will have to walk along a parkway to get to the mainland. The car has been seized and about 50 credit and gift cards were found inside, most of them with the same name as the one on the learner's permit, the source said.
State parks police at its Long Island base declined to comment. State parks spokesmen in Albany and the state parks police chief did not respond to emails and calls to their cellphones Tuesday night.
The woods and shrubbery where officers lost track of the man are full of poison ivy and prickly vegetation, the source said: "He's going to be in bad shape."