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Feb 3, 2010 12:45 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Village Police pursue suspected DWI driver before dropping chase

Feb 3, 2010 12:45 PM

A driver who failed to stop at a red light at the intersection of Windmill Lane, North Sea Road and Bowden Square in Southampton Village just after midnight on Saturday led Village Police on a short, unsuccessful pursuit that was finally broken off by police on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation.

Police Chief William Wilson said that the driver was also suspected of DWI, and when police attempted to pull the vehicle over, the driver proceeded southbound on Windmill Lane and turned right on White Street before accelerating to a high rate of speed westbound on White Street. The motorist failed to obey stop signs at the corners of White Street and Breese Lane, and White Street and Halsey Street. According to police, the driver then turned off the vehicle’s headlights while heading southbound on Halsey Street at approximately 70 mph.

Maintaining its speed, the vehicle turned onto Hill Street, where it proceeded straight until turning onto East Gate Road on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation, where police determined, based on the direction of travel and the perceived danger to police and public safety, that it was no longer “prudent” to continue the chase.


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"No longer prudent" to pursue the chase at a high rate of speed? Good call IMO.

"Prudent" to drop the chase altogether? No way!

Was there any follow-up investigation including the NYS Troopers to find the reckless driver?

Was the plate called in to ID the driver/registered owner?

Who made the decision just after midnight to ABANDON the pursuit of someone who put lives in danger?

Is the possible casino part of this equation?

Editor and Colleen, ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 3, 10 6:21 PM
first of all i think that you should leave this out of it. and who wrote this article?
By tpettaway (11), Southampton on Feb 5, 10 10:18 AM
What is IMO?
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Feb 3, 10 7:22 PM
in my opinion
By duckman (2), flanders on Feb 3, 10 8:46 PM
Thank you
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Feb 4, 10 8:57 AM
Bad for the Nation with good people on the cusp of something great. The tribal leaders need to do something about it.
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Feb 4, 10 7:23 AM
My boyfriend and I had just gotten out of a movie in Southampton and were heading home on Hill Street when this dark car with no lights flew out from Halsey Lane in front of us. He didnt even slow down. If we were a second sooner he would have hit us. I hope this incident is looked into further and the person is found. Thank goodness no one was hurt.
By WM11976 (12), Water Mill on Feb 4, 10 1:10 PM
1 member liked this comment
This is nothing new, Village Police never chase anyone onto the reservation. This is not the first time this kind of thing has happened. Its been going on for years. I guess suddenly its news worthy. I do agree that it should be followed up on, though what exactly could be done? Yes they were traveling at a high rate of speed, no they did not stop when signaled to, so perhaps they were drunk, but at this point could anything be done about it? I doubt it. That's life in the other Hamptons...
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on Feb 4, 10 2:40 PM
This jurisdiction problem should be looked into what if the unknown suspect killed someone would the PO just let them get away! I believe we all need to be safe jurisdiction or not anyone breaking the law is worth chasing until they are apprehended.
By Bridgehampton (36), Bridgehampton on Feb 6, 10 5:42 PM
WM sounds like you might have something to contribute to the police report. Hope you follow through.
By M. O'Connor (147), Southampton on Feb 4, 10 3:27 PM
1 member liked this comment
The article says, "when police attempted to pull the vehicle over, the driver proceeded southbound on Windmill Lane."

Was the pursuing officer close enough to the vehicle to get a plate number, or a general description of the car?

Was this info. radio'd in to HQ?

Were back-up units requested?

Were the NYS Troopers notified at any point?

Did the pursuing officer recognize the vehicle?

There is LOTS of information missing here, and it is shameful ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 4, 10 3:32 PM
1 member liked this comment
There was only one cop car pursuing him when he turned from Halsey Street to Hill Street when we saw it and he was keeping up with the suspect. I would think that the police would have gotten a decent description of the car and maybe a plate #. I don’t know how you could follow someone from Bowden Square to the reservation and not have some kind of information about the car. I cant add much more because it all happened so fast, it was a blur, they were there one second and gone the next.
By WM11976 (12), Water Mill on Feb 4, 10 4:47 PM
It could very well be true that the Village Police don't pursue vehicles onto the reservation, by virtue of the fact that it is a sovereign nation. My understanding is that only NY State Police can act on "The Res". So it seems that they did the right thing in this instance. What "further investigation" is necessary? It appears the that other than traffic violations, there is nothing more to this story.
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Feb 4, 10 9:01 PM
You have got to be kidding? What the heck is wrong with that officer. Oh, I suppose the other streets this idiot was drunk driving on, in this chase did'nt pose a threat to the public and other offficers??? He calls himself a chief? He does not deserve that title with the poor decision he made. Lets let the reservation, yet again, deter the rest of us from doing the right thing. This driver should have been pursued to the end and arrested! Lets hope he's not going to drive drunk through Southampton ...more
By et6678 (12), southampton on Feb 5, 10 1:04 AM
Was it the chief who was pursuing the driver? If so I missed that part of it?
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Feb 5, 10 8:39 AM
The Chief commented on the incident, he was not involved in the chase…read the story. I am sure that the chase was growing increasingly dangerous as it went on, let the PD do their jobs.
By K Aventi (33), Southampton on Feb 5, 10 10:04 AM
1 member liked this comment
K Aventi,

Yes, it was a prudent move to call off the high speed pursuit if it was becoming dangerous. Good call.

Many questions remain, however (see comments and questions raised above).

In point of fact, if the Village PD has a POLICY of never going on the Reservation, and the drivers from there know this, then these kinds of encounters will continue to involve high speed chases, without lights apparently, until the perpetrator makes it safely "inside the gates."

Does ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 5, 10 10:14 AM
By fdny7318 (60), Water Mill on Feb 5, 10 10:45 AM
Yes, but you need to be deploy road spikes IN FRONT of the vehicle for those to work. This apparently was not the case in this instance.
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Feb 5, 10 12:02 PM
If a Village police car cannot catch the vehicle when it is in apparent close pursuit, how could a trooper, who has to come off the sunrise, ever catch perpetrator? Please explain because your point makes no sense.
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Feb 5, 10 12:00 PM

My comment was clearly NOT about a Trooper being able to catch the perpetrator during the chase!

It was about the legal authority of the NYS Troopers have to go on to the Reservation, which the Village PD may not have, granted.

All the pursuing officer had to do, once the apparent destination of the drunk and head-light-less driver became clear, was to radio for Trooper back up (and Southampton Town PD for that matter, as the Village ends at the west end of Hill ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 5, 10 12:11 PM
And if he vehicle was subsequently located, after the State Police were called. Do you actually think it would be occupied by the driver? He or she would be long gone! So how do you get a DWI charge, or even traffic tickets WITHOUT AN OPERATOR?

By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Feb 5, 10 2:45 PM
Time will tell, Bayman1.

Have a good weekend.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 5, 10 8:26 PM
Thanks, likewise!
By Bayman1 (297), Sag Harbor on Feb 5, 10 8:34 PM
Sounds like good professional police work by the officer in pursuit from SVPD. No over-reaction. Too bad he didn't catch the suspect but I am sure an arrest will be made soon.You can bet SVPD has identified the vehicle.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Feb 6, 10 6:16 PM
so when i get drink i drive to resarvation and police no follow?? hahahahaha i love dis place
By deme más (3), southampton on Feb 6, 10 7:58 PM
sounds like a plan
By uce (2), southampton on Feb 8, 10 3:58 PM
who da cop?
By uce (2), southampton on Feb 8, 10 3:56 PM
OK it has now been nine days since the Saturday incident.

Is the Village PD hot on the trail and about to make an arrest, or has the perpetrator made a clean break? If the PD got a plate number, why has an arrest not been made? If no plate number was obtained, why not?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 8, 10 7:10 PM
And WHAT would someone be arrested for?

WHO would be arrested?

Are you sure the driver was familiar with "The Res"?

You're pretty critical of situations not knowing all there is to know.
By Terry (380), Southampton on Feb 10, 10 11:34 AM
Whoa Terry, slow down maybe, and re-read the article and all comments. Your questions are pretty much answered IMO.

Talk about being critical without knowing all there is to know!

And yes, you are correct, I don't know everything there is to know about this case. That is why I keep asking questions, and hope that the Press will follow up on this. Also, the PD is free to arrest someone (or not) and to call Colleen to have her update the story to keep the public informed about how ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 10, 10 12:02 PM
This is easy PBR, the bad guy got away, no one was hurt. End of story. Doo doo occurs.
By Terry (380), Southampton on Feb 10, 10 2:54 PM
And when the next possible occurrence kills someone, similar to the scenario posited by WM11976, you are willing to have the blood on your hands, and your comment might be "Doo doo occurs?"
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 10, 10 3:07 PM
It will occur again, Bad guys run from the cops. People get caught in the middle. Though MOST DWI related fatalities have nothing to do with a pursuit by LEO. Just the way it is. Been that way a long time. As sad as that may be.

Blood on MY hands?

Dude, fix your tin foil hat.
By Terry (380), Southampton on Feb 10, 10 3:33 PM
Beg to differ Terry.

The Southampton Village PD probably has a good lead on this perpetrator. Again, read the article. The pursuing officer was close behind the car and either got a plate ID or a good description of the car.

You seem to be happy with the scenario that the bad guy got away. I have more faith in the Village PD. I will push for this reckless (and possibly drunk) driver to be apprehended and brought to justice,

You however seem happy to shine this incident ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 10, 10 3:55 PM
PBR says:
The Southampton Village PD "probably" has a good lead on this perpetrator. Again, read the article. The pursuing officer was close behind the car and either got a plate ID or a good description of the car.

Where do you see that in the article? I added the quotes. Where does it say anything about "close behind" ?

You and others assume that the driver was connected to the res. He well could have been from Carnarsie and just got lost.

He goes on:

You ...more
By Terry (380), Southampton on Feb 10, 10 5:19 PM
Thank you Terry for your questions.

The article says the PD "attempted to pull the vehicle over." This would seem to imply that the pursuing officer was close enough to get a plate ID or description of the vehicle IMO. Also WM11976's posts indicate that the PD would have been able to do this.

Yes, the perp. could have been from anywhere, obviously.

[skipping over the "no and no" "answers" which are not all that clear.]

Yes, if there were an arrest for this offense, ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 10, 10 5:38 PM
PBR queries:
Are you associated in any way (employment or otherwise) with Southampton Village, in general or the PD?

My response :

no and no

skipping over the "no and no" "answers" which are not all that clear.]

Not clear?

By Terry (380), Southampton on Feb 10, 10 6:40 PM
Still don't know why this particular case rated a write up...like I said before its not the first time nor will it be the last. However, whomever the driver was, does have to come off the Res eventually, I have a feeling that there is an APB out on that car and plate. They will be picked up eventually. I'm just wondering if the Press will write that up as well. I will cut you guys some slack (Press) Its winter...not a to much going on.
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on Feb 11, 10 12:44 PM
Not Prudent at all..
By Doug (14), Hampton Bays on Feb 12, 10 2:29 PM
Another newspaper is reporting that the car has been impounded, but the driver is still at large and witnesses are not cooperating. It is against the rules of this site to post a link to that other paper, but it is free, comes out on Wednesdays, and has an independent nature if you catch my drift.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 17, 10 11:15 AM
See this week's Press Police News column (and here) for the Village PD.

Car impounded, etc.

Hope to see an updated story next week.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 18, 10 8:15 PM
Read the story again Sherlock. What "update" do you think is coming?
By Terry (380), Southampton on Feb 19, 10 11:53 AM
Yo Terry, read my comment again, Sherlock. I said "hope" an updated story is coming. Take a deep breath and relax maybe?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 19, 10 1:35 PM
PS -- and you are welcome for my adding the information about the updated police column!
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 19, 10 1:36 PM
PS2 -- Terry, would you like to reconsider your "doo doo occurs" post BTW?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 19, 10 1:39 PM
Not in the least. It occurs. Not every crime is solved, that is obvious. But in this case it worked out like I predicted. The bad guy got away. No one is going to fall on their knees and confess to having been the driver. And the owner of the car is likely keeping his or her motuh shut as well.
Tell us, how would YOU have handled it, from the start.
By Terry (380), Southampton on Feb 19, 10 1:43 PM
New article update -- see link above.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 26, 10 5:07 PM