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Cops: Man arrested in SUV chase is released

Police said this 2004 Acura MDX was reported

Police said this 2004 Acura MDX was reported stolen from Valley Stream Tuesday night and involved in a police pursuit that began on Route 112 in Coram and ended on the LIE service road in Yaphank. (July 25, 2012) Credit: Stringer News Service

A Mastic man arrested early Wednesday and charged with criminal possession of a stolen vehicle after a police pursuit has been released because he was "not involved," Suffolk County police said.

Police initially said Lavonne Berryhill, 26, of 5 Abby Lane in Mastic, was driving the 2004 Acura MDX during a pursuit that began on Route 112 in Coram and ended on the Long Island Expressway service road in Yaphank. They said he was charged with third-degree criminal possession of stolen property and would be arraigned Wednesday in First District Court in Central Islip.

But at about 1 p.m. police announced that Berryhill had been "unarrested."

In a statement from police, a department spokeswoman told Newsday: "Pending further investigation to identify the driver, Berryhill was unarrested. He was not involved."

Police would not immediately say what had led officers to arrest Berryhill after the pursuit. They also could not say if Berryhill had been in the stolen vehicle or if he was arrested in a case of mistaken identity. Police would only say the investigation was continuing Wednesday afternoon.

Nassau County police said the vehicle was reported stolen in Valley Stream at about 10:40 p.m. Tuesday and they put out a notification for officers in both counties to be on the lookout for the sport utility vehicle. Suffolk police said officers spotted the Acura at 12:30 a.m. as it headed north on Route 112 in Coram.

The vehicle fled on Route 112 and then east onto Middle Country Road, south on the William Floyd Parkway and west on the Long Island Expressway before it was stopped on the service road just west of Sills Road after its tires were punctured by spike strips, police said.

It was not clear how long the pursuit lasted and police said the vehicle was not pursued in Nassau.

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