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'Passenger' in vehicle in HOV lane 'didn't look quite right', Suffolk police said

Suffolk County police cited a driver traveling westbound

Suffolk County police cited a driver traveling westbound on the Long Island Expressway in the HOV lane for occupancy violation. Police said the driver dressed his front seat in a hooded jacket and a hat.  Credit: Instagram/SCPD

A driver was ticketed Thursday morning after covering the front passenger seat with a hooded jacket and a hat on the headrest to drive along the Long Island Expressway HOV lane, Suffolk County police said.

Suffolk police Community Support Unit Officer Cody Exum was sitting in his patrol car west on the LIE, east of Deer Park Avenue, just before 9 a.m. when, police said, he "noticed the passenger in a vehicle in the HOV lane didn’t look quite right."

"Officer Exum pulled over the vehicle and observed the front seat passenger was not a passenger at all," police said on its Facebook page. "It was the front seat dressed up to look like a person with a jacket pulled over the seat and a hat and hood on the headrest."

The driver, who was not identified, received a summons for an HOV occupancy violation, police said.

The incident Thursday was the second time this year Suffolk police caught a driver traveling with a fake passenger.

A Lake Grove man in the HOV lane was stopped in June by police, who said they found the driver had attached a drama mask to the front passenger headrest.

In May 2019, a driver had a mannequin dressed in a cap and sunglasses with the sleeves of a sweatshirt when he was pulled over in Dix Hills, Suffolk police said. The mannequin had a huge ear on one side and a major flap of fake skin and two water bottles securing the figure’s arms.

A driver, who was driving in Dix Hills in the HOV lane in July 2016, had piled clothing, a baseball hat, and a briefcase on the passenger seat to resemble a person.

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