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Long IslandCrime

Driver led cops on 90 minute chase in Suffolk County, police say

A dozen police cars surround a van following

A dozen police cars surround a van following a chance that traveled over 75 miles early Saturday morning. Photo Credit: Stringer News Service

A 90-minute pursuit of a man who fled from officers trying to stop him for driving erratically finally ended when stop sticks brought his 2002 Ford van to a halt early Saturday morning, Suffolk police said.

Thomas Celeste, 50, of Mastic, first was spotted on Montauk Highway west of William Floyd Parkway in Shirley about 12:15 a.m. Saturday, police said.

A police helicopter then tracked Celeste, and the stop sticks were deployed at Route 112 and Horseblock Road in Medford, police said. Those devices puncture tires, typically with upward pointing spikes.

The van eventually came to a stop and he was arrested around 1:40 a.m., police said.

Celeste was charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, reckless driving and unlawfully fleeing an officer in a motor vehicle. 

He was arraigned Saturday at First District Court in Central Islip and held on bail of $50,000 cash or $150,000 bond. Celeste's next court appearance is Thursday.

His attorney, Steve Fondulis of Port Jefferson, could not immediately be reached for comment.

With Deon J. Hampton

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