Cops: Riverhead man arrested after fleeing scene of accident


A Riverhead man was arrested on drug charges and traffic violations after fleeing the scene of a motor vehicle accident Sunday afternoon, Riverhead police said.

Alfred Cowell, 34, was driving a 2000 Nissan Maxima shortly before 3:40 p.m. when the crash occurred, police said. A witness — not involved in the accident — used their “OnStar” service to report the incident to police, officials said.

The suspect allegedly traveled eastbound on Middle Road and turned into Two Bear Estates before stopping at the end of Old Farm Road, police said. From there, the witness reported the suspect fled on foot and ran into the Sunken Pond Estates property, officials said.

“A police perimeter was set up and — after a short foot pursuit — the operator was arrested,” the press release states.

Mr. Cowell was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, unlicensed operator, privilege to operate suspended, resisting arrest, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of drug paraphernalia, police said.

Mr. Cowell was processed and released on $300 bail, officials said, adding his vehicle was impounded as evidence.

This isn’t the first time Mr. Cowell has been accused of fleeing police.

In 2011, Mr. Cowell caught the eye of Southampton Town police near Lake Avenue in Riverside after they observed him failing to signal a left turn and not wearing a seat belt, police said. An officer tried to pull him over, but Mr. Cowell instead fled in his car to the rear of the Budget Host Inn near the Route 24 traffic circle, where he failed to make a turn and had to stop to avoid crashing, officials said. The officer cornered him in that lot about 4:30 a.m., just minutes after trying to pull him over.

A registration check soon found the car had been stolen from Bohemia, and a search of the car turned up cocaine, police said. Mr. Cowell was also accused of giving a false name. After the officer learned the suspect’s real name, he discovered Mr. Cowell’s license had also been suspended, officials said.

Mr. Cowell was charged with criminal possession of stolen property, criminal possession of a controlled substance and false personation in the 2011 incident.

Southampton Town police also arrested Mr. Cowell in September 2013 on drug charges.

Last month, the Riverhead Police Department turned Mr. Cowell over to Southampton Town police after he was caught on an active bench warrant for failing to show up in court in Southampton.

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