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Police tow truck operator helps nab drug-impaired driver on the LIE, police say

Ronald Terlizzese, 49, of Medford, was arrested Tuesday,

Ronald Terlizzese, 49, of Medford, was arrested Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, and charged with first-degree operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs and issued seven summonses for various vehicle and traffic violations. Photo Credit: SCPD

The impaired driver of a Hyundai that almost crashed into several cars and the center barrier on the Long Island Expressway was arrested with the help of a police tow truck driver, Suffolk police said Tuesday.

Raymond Langert, whose usual job is to take evidence away for safekeeping, was driving a police tow truck west near Exit 62 in Holtsville when he saw a vehicle veer erratically across all the LIE lanes just before 11 a.m. Monday, police said.

After Langert radioed in the car description and plate number, highway patrol Officer Thomas Joy spotted the Hyundai near Exit 57 in Islandia, police said.

Joy turned on his sirens and lights, but the Hyundai driver did not pull over, police said.

With the help of highway patrol Officer Glen Ritchie, driver Ronald Terlizzese, 49, of Medford, was stopped near Exit 53, Sagtikos Parkway, police said.

Terlizzese, of 5 Poplar Ave., was charged with first-degree operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs and issued seven summonses for various vehicle and traffic violations. Online court records show he was cited because he refused to take a breath analyzer test, speeding, operating a vehicle without a license and having an unregistered vehicle.

He was arraigned Tuesday at First District Court in Central Islip and released on his own recognizance. His attorney, Brian Bass of Bohemia, declined to comment.

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