The scare led to the lockdown for about 45 minutes of a North Fork elementary school and the closure of eastbound traffic on Route 25.
Southold and Suffolk County police raced to meet a ferry about 11 a.m. after a crew member on the Cross Island Ferry and multiple passengers reported that a walk-on fare with a backpack who boarded in New London, Conn., resembled 19-year-old fugitive Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Southold Police Chief Martin Flatley said.
When the ferry docked between 11:30 a.m. and noon, police met him, Flatley said.
They X-rayed the passenger's backpack and questioned him at Southold police headquarters before determining he was not the suspect, Flatley said. He declined to name the passenger, who was released.
The young white male "had a very similar resemblance" to the Boston suspect, Flatley said. "He was fully understanding of why it took place. He was very cooperative."
Officials at Oysterponds Elementary School, on the tip of the North Fork, were advised to keep students indoors for about 45 minutes, Flatley said. Eastbound traffic on Route 25 was blocked for about a half-hour.
"We're very well aware of the implication . . . the Cross Island Ferry has on any incident in New England," Flatley said. "It's an alternative route to Long Island and New York City. We'll continue to have a police presence there until [the manhunt] is resolved."