Near Hofstra debate, cops arrest driver

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A motorist traveling near the presidential debate site Tuesday morning refused an officer's command to stop his vehicle and initially eluded officers, police said, but was stopped and arrested on a charge of reckless driving and other traffic violations.

The driver, whose identity was not immediately released, was operating a black Jeep near the Meadowbrook State Parkway and Hempstead Turnpike at 8:30 a.m., when the incident began, police said. He was stopped and arrested a short time later at Reckson Plaza in Uniondale, near Hofstra, but not before a police helicopter was dispatched to help locate the vehicle, officials said.

Nassau police said the incident involved its Hofstra detail, but furnished no additional information as to why the driver might not have obeyed the officer's command or tried to elude police.

Roads near Hofstra were closed at 6 a.m. Tuesday and were to remain closed until midnight because of the presidential debate there between President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney at the Mack Sports Complex on campus.

Earl Ovington Boulevard was closed between Hempstead Turnpike and Charles Lindbergh Boulevard, and no commercial traffic was allowed on Hempstead Turnpike between Oak Street and Merrick Avenue. Westbound commercial traffic was diverted at Merrick Avenue and Hempstead Turnpike, and eastbound traffic was diverted at Oak and Hempstead Turnpike.

Hempstead Turnpike was open to passenger vehicles, but police advised that there would be intermittent closings -- especially near the main turnpike entrances to both Hofstra and the Nassau Coliseum.

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