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Cops: Teens stole pickup truck, crashed during police pursuit in Riverhead

Two teenagers stole a pickup truck, then crashed during a police pursuit in the early morning hours on Sunday, Riverhead Town police said. 

Police received a call that a 2002 Ford F-150 pickup truck had been stolen from outside a residence in the Booker Drive area at about 2:25 a.m., according to a press release.

An officer on patrol spotted the truck being driven on Northville Turnpike, near Kmart, a short time later. When the officer tried to make a traffic stop, the driver sped away in the truck and a brief pursuit ensued, police said.

The pickup truck crashed into a wooded area, striking a tree, on East Main Street, near Fairway Avenue at about 2:45 a.m. The driver, whom police identified as Eleeam Sanchez, 17, of Flanders, got out of the truck and ran. Police found him in the back yard of 1199 E. Main St. and placed him under arrest.

Meanwhile, a 17-year-old passenger was trapped inside the mangled truck. The Riverhead Fire Department responded with its heavy rescue unit to extricate him from the truck, according to Chief Kevin Brooks. The Riverhead Town Volunteer Ambulance took Gino Florian of Flanders, to Peconic Bay Medical Center, where he was treated for an arm injury, according to police.

No one else, including the driver, was injured, according to police.

Mr. Sanchez and Mr. Florian were both charged with third-degree grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree, both felonies. Mr. Sanchez was also charged with unlawfully fleeing a police officer, reckless driving, and leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident with an injury, all misdemeanors.

Judge Allen Smith arraigned Mr. Florian at Peconic Bay Medical Center, while Mr. Sanchez was arraigned in Riverhead Justice Court Sunday morning.

Photo caption: A stolen Ford F-150 pickup truck crashed during a police pursuit on Sunday just after 2:30 a.m. (Credit: Stringer News) 

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