Muttontown officer injured, patrol car destroyed while chasing speeder
A Muttontown Village police lieutenant was injured and his vehicle was destroyed Wednesday during an unsuccessful attempt to stop an elusive motorist who was driving more than 100 mph on North Shore Nassau roads, police said.
The officer was treated at a hospital for contusions, lacerations and back and neck injuries, police said. The speeder was not caught.
Muttontown Police Chief William McHale said officers believe they have been frustrated by the same speeding motorist several times in recent months.
"This particular individual is an extremely dangerous person," McHale said. "If he hits a vehicle with four people in it at over 100 mph, those people don't have much of a chance."
McHale said officials believe the speeding motorist is a man in his 20s from the Syosset area. Since officers could not safely match his speed to stop him, he has not been caught in the act, clearly identified and arrested, he said.
A black Infiniti G37 traveling in excess of 130 mph went past a Muttontown police car on Route 106 about 10 a.m. Wednesday, McHale said. "You have to understand the mentality of someone who will drive past a police car at over 100 mph -- depraved indifference to human life," McHale said. The speed limit there is 55 mph, he said.
The lieutenant's police SUV was traveling in the opposite direction, and when the speeder turned onto a narrower road, Muttontown-Eastwood Road, the officer switched on his emergency lights, turned and followed at a much slower speed. The officer hoped the driver might pull over for the emergency lights or some other reason, McHale said. But he did not.
To avoid another motorist who pulled into the roadway from a side street, McHale said, the lieutenant's vehicle went off the road and struck a tree. The speeder continued on, police said.
McHale asked for the public's help. "We're not letting this go," he said. "The problem is that at any time this guy could cause a major traffic accident. Hopefully we'll come up with enough probable cause to make an arrest."