Update (11:20 p.m.): Southold Town police have released additional details on the incident that led to Thursday’s arrest of Alfred Cowell.
Southold police said Mr. Cowell allegedly removed keys from a Brown Street residence in Greenport Tuesday in order to take a vehicle without permission. The resident notified police and Mr. Cowell was spotted by an off-duty Southold police officer who radioed the location of the vehicle.
The 2020 Nissan Rogue was then spotted by a patrol officer who attempted to pull the vehicle over. Mr. Cowell refused to stop and continued west on Route 48 in Southold.
As other units arrived, Mr. Cowell reached speeds of 100 mph and at one point crossed over the eastbound lane of Route 48 while traveling west, police said. The vehicle nearly missed colliding with several other vehicles before the pursuit was terminated by a police sergeant.
Mr. Cowell continued into the jurisdiction of the Riverhead Town Police Department where units from the New York State Police began to pursue him.
Southold police have charged Mr. Cowell with burglary, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, unlawfully fleeing police, reckless driving, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and a number of traffic violations.
He was held for arraignment due to the felony burglary charge and the victim requested an order of protection, according to police.
Police listed Mr. Cowell as from Middle Island. In prior arrests he had been listed from Riverhead.
Original Story: A man with a history of fleeing police is now in custody in connection with Tuesday afternoon’s chase that left a Riverhead Town police officer seriously injured in an accident as he was responding to the pursuit.
Alfred Cowell, 40, was arrested Thursday by Suffolk County Sheriff’s in Mastic Beach after deputies on a separate narcotics investigation spotted him coming out of a home, according to Chief Michael Sharkey.
The deputies noticed he matched the description of the suspect from Tuesday’s incident and they followed him in his vehicle, a Kia Telluride, down to the parking lot at Smith Point County Park.
Additional police units responded to the scene and blocked off the bridge to prevent any further traffic from coming in or out, Chief Sharkey said.
Mr. Cowell was arrested without incident, as well as a woman who was also in the vehicle on an unrelated charge, he added.
“We took him into custody and are turning him over to Southold Police Department,” Chief Sharkey said.
His initial charges will stem from Southold police. Additional charges could still be filed by Riverhead Town and New York State police, Chief Sharkey said.
The deputies first observed Mr. Cowell around 2 p.m.
Mr. Cowell was arrested in December by Suffolk County police and charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of motor vehicle, according to online court records. At a Feb. 20 arraignment he was released on his own recognizance and was due back in court May 5.
Mr. Cowell crashed into the Greenview Inn on West Main Street in 2015 after fleeing from officers who attempted to stop him for driving erratically in Polish Town, according to prior reports. He fled on foot and was apprehended by police shortly after in that incident, officials said at the time.
In May 2014, he was arrested on drug charges and traffic violations after fleeing the scene of a motor vehicle accident in Riverhead, according to prior reports.
Riverhead Town police officer Robert Sproston is currently in the intensive care unit at Stony Brook University Hospital after his police cruiser collided with another car near the intersection of Youngs Avenue, causing the police car to go off the road and into a fence, the chief said. He suffered injuries to the upper torso and neck area and underwent surgery Tuesday night, police said.
The pursuit began in Greenport when Southold Town police were notified of an incident where a person’s car was stolen. Southold police spotted the stolen vehicle and were led on a pursuit, which they ended when reaching Riverhead Town on Sound Avenue. Riverhead Chief David Hegermiller said he believes New York State Police then picked up the pursuit in Riverhead.
Mr. Sproston is also a volunteer firefighter with the Riverhead Fire Department along with his father Bill.
Crowdfunding efforts began Wednesday for Mr. Sproston.
—WITH TIM GANNON