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Not-guilty plea after his latest arrest

Kyle Soukup, who was convicted in the 2002

Kyle Soukup, who was convicted in the 2002 drag racing deaths in Muttontown of a soon-to-be-married couple, was arrested in Southampton Village on charges including driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest, officials said. (July 6, 2012) Credit: SCDA

A man convicted in a drag-racing crash that killed two people in 2002 led police on a wild foot-chase before his most recent drunken-driving arrest, jumping in a pool, climbing over a fence and struggling through a thicket of bamboo before three officers subdued him with stun guns, prosecutors said Friday.

Before the chase, Kyle Soukup, 27, of Manhattan, nearly drove into a Southampton Village police officer's car and sped past a stop sign near his summer rental home on White Street around 4 a.m. last Friday, Nancy Clifford, deputy chief of the Suffolk County district attorney's office's Major Crime Bureau, said Friday at his arraignment in Suffolk County Court.

When the officer tried to pull over the black 2012 Ford Edge, Soukup kept speeding, eventually pulling over outside the home he and several friends are paying $115,000 to rent for June and July, Clifford said.

Soukup smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and was driving with a suspended license, the result of an April 2011 DWI conviction, Clifford said.

When the officer tried to handcuff Soukup, he flailed his arms and sprinted behind the home, Clifford said. Two officers gave chase and twice caught up with Soukup, but he broke free both times and kept running, she said.

Along the way, he negotiated a pool, a fence and a bamboo thicket before officers caught him a third time, Clifford said.

"A violent struggle again ensued," Clifford said. "It took three of them using their Tasers to eventually subdue him."

Soukup is accused of driving while intoxicated, resisting arrest, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and other charges. He pleaded not guilty Friday.

A judge ordered him held on $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond at the Suffolk jail in Riverhead. His family, who attended the arraignment, declined to comment.

Soukup's lawyer, Gerard McCloskey, said his client "denies doing anything wrong."

The arrest marked Soukup's latest run-in with the law since his initial arrest in June 2002. In that case, Soukup was drag-racing a Corvette in Muttontown against his friend, Blake Slade, at speeds approaching 140 mph when their cars slammed into a Jeep carrying Sophia Bretous, 23, and her fiance, Jean Desir, 31, of Westbury, killing both.

Soukup and Slade pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges and served 21/2 years in prison before being released in 2007, records show.

Soukup has since been arrested four times, prosecutors said.

His license was suspended after his 2011 DWI conviction in Manhattan, for which a judge sentenced him to 3 years of probation, court records show.

He also pleaded guilty to assault after a 2010 arrest for throwing his ex-girlfriend onto the sidewalk in Manhattan, records show.

On Feb. 11, Soukup was arrested again in Manhattan on charges that included aggravated harassment. That case is pending.

Soukup's next scheduled court date is Aug. 7.

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