A natural gas leak forced the evacuation of a Brentwood shopping center and nearby homes Saturday morning, Suffolk County police said.

The leak was caused about 11 a.m. when a construction vehicle struck a gas line behind the Pollo Mario steakhouse, at 78 Wicks Rd., police said.

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A construction crew was working behind the restaurant at the time of the incident. Other businesses in the shopping center were evacuated.

Residents of at least 12 homes on Bradley Avenue, an adjacent block, were told to leave the area, police said. They were permitted to return to their homes a short time later.

National Grid spokeswoman Karen Young said gas service was restored to the steakhouse by 2 p.m.

Wicks Road was closed in both directions from Crooked Hill Road to Suffolk Avenue for about an hour, police said.

With Robert Brodsky