A high-speed nighttime pursuit of a Centereach teenager in a stolen car ended with the driver in custody after he bailed out at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, according to the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office.
The driver, 16, was going about 80 mph in a Toyota Camry that had no plates when Deputy Sheriff Thomas Young saw it about 9 p.m. Wednesday on the westbound Long Island Expressway by Exit 70 in Manorville, said Chief Deputy Sheriff Michael Sharkey. Young tried to make a traffic stop, he said.
“The person starts to pull over and then takes off,” Sharkey said.
The pursuit ended 45 minutes later when the driver took a dead-end dirt road on the laboratory grounds, hit a berm, bailed out of the car and was caught running through the woods, authorities said.
No one was injured, Sharkey said, but the stolen car was damaged.
The teenager was expected to be arraigned Friday on charges of resisting arrest, possession of stolen property, unlawfully fleeing a police officer, driving while intoxicated by drugs and reckless driving. Sharkey declined to identify the teenager in case the matter is transferred to family court.
Suffolk police and two other law enforcement agencies are also involved. Riverhead Town police are investigating because the car was stolen after the teenager allegedly broke into an auto repair shop in Riverhead and took the keys. Federal authorities are investigating whether to prosecute the teenager for trespassing on the laboratory grounds, officials said. Suffolk police want to know where he was because he had been reported missing Wednesday, though details about the teenager as a missing person were not immediately available, Sharkey said.
“It looks like he broke into the shop early in the morning” on Wednesday then got the keys to the car and stole it, Sharkey said.
Investigators were trying to piece together the teenager’s actions before the deputy sheriff’s pursuit.
Authorities said when the teenager took off, he drove at speeds approaching 90 mph on the LIE as he led Young, another deputy sheriff, Suffolk police aviation and a canine unit on the chase. He then took Exit 68 north onto the William Floyd Parkway, and turned right into the main entrance of the laboratory, officials said. Aviation officers helped in spotting the driver and directing law enforcement officers, Sharkey said.
The teenager failed an examination by a drug recognition expert from the sheriff’s office, Sharkey said.