Police Chase In Southampton Village Ends In Crash; One Arrested


Southampton Village Police arrested a Southampton man last Friday night after he led police on a chase that ended when his car struck another car, injuring himself and one other person.

According to a press release issued by Southampton Village Police Detective Sergeant Herman Lamison, at approximately 9 p.m. on Friday, May 17, Village Police were conducting a narcotics surveillance operation on Hillcrest Avenue. During the operation, officers attempted to pull over Joseph L. Coffey Jr., 51, of Southampton, on West Prospect Street. He fled in his 1991 BMW, leading police on a high-speed chase.

Mr. Coffey, traveling westbound in the eastbound lane on Hill Street, attempting to pass a 2005 Ford Escape, until reaching the Captains Neck Lane intersection, where he struck the other vehicle, sending it into a row of privet, and spinning his own car out of control and into a tree, Det. Sgt. Lamison said.

The driver of the Ford Escape, who was not identified by police, was extricated from the vehicle by the Southampton Fire Department and transported via Southampton Village Volunteer Ambulance to Southampton Hospital, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Mr. Coffey also was transported to Southampton Hospital with a broken femur, Det. Sgt. Lamison said.

Southampton Village Police were assisted by the New York State Police, Southampton Town Police, and Stony Brook University Police.

Mr. Coffey was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, both felonies. He also was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, reckless driving, first-degree loitering, third-degree assault, unlawful fleeing from a police officer, second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and fourth-degree criminal mischief, all misdemeanors, and unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation. Det. Sgt. Lamison said Mr. Coffey had crack cocaine and a dagger in his possession, and was issued a total of 11 traffic tickets.

Mr. Coffey was arraigned Saturday morning at Southampton Hospital, where he was remanded without bail to the Suffolk County Jail in Riverside.

According to police, Mr. Coffey has been arrested more than 53 times since 1990.

“He is not a model citizen—53 times speaks for itself,” Det. Sgt. Lamison said. “I hope that, at the end of the day, justice is done.”

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