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Long IslandCrime

Nassau, Suffolk car chase leads to assault on officers, cops say

A Roosevelt man was arrested early Saturday after leading police on a chase through Nassau and Suffolk counties and then assaulting officers, police said.

Joel Legette, 47, of East Pennywood Avenue, was charged with three counts of assault, second-degree reckless endangerment, third-degree unlawful fleeing of a police officer in a motor vehicle, resisting arrest, two counts of second-degree obstructing governmental administration, unlawful possession of marijuana, and numerous vehicle and traffic laws, a Nassau County police news release said. He is scheduled to be arraigned Sunday at First District Court in Hempstead.

Police said officers were canvassing the Uniondale area when they spotted a suspicious 2001 Honda Odyssey in the parking lot of 1220 Front St. It matched the description of a vehicle involved in an earlier crime, police said. When an officer approached the vehicle, the driver fled east on Front and onto Hempstead Turnpike, with police in pursuit.

The driver crashed into a fence in East Meadow but “continued driving recklessly” east through East Meadow, Levittown, Bethpage, Farmingdale and, after crossing into Suffolk County, Wyandanch, Deer Park and Brentwood. The vehicle then crashed in a wooded area in the back of a 100 block Grant Avenue house in Brentwood, police said.

As officers approached the Odyssey, Legette resisted arrest by kicking and flailing his arms, the news release said.

While Legette was being processed at the First Precinct, he was escorted to a restroom but then refused to return to his cell, police said. He “started violently punching the officers and flailing his arms,” causing head, neck, wrist and leg injuries to three officers, who were taken to a hospital for treatment. It took six officers to restrain Legette and return him to his cell, police said.

Police said they determined Legette had not been involved in the earlier crime.

Legette has been convicted four times in the past 15 years on charges of operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol or driving while ability impaired, records show. He has been convicted of three assaults, resisting arrest, possession of marijuana, attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance, reckless endangerment, and endangering the welfare of a child.

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