NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police on Long Island announced the arrest of a man in Suffolk County for driving under the influence of drugs and leading them on chase that ended with officers being treated for their injuries.
Suffolk County Police said 31-year-old Joseph Ciambriello was reported to be peeping in windows at the Harding Avenue School in Lindenhurst around 10:30 a.m. Friday morning. He allegedly identified himself to school officials as a town security guard and fled in a black Corvette.
Ciambriello refused to pull over and authorities said he intentionally struck police cars as they pursued him. Their low-speed chase ended on Colonial Road and Straight Path in Lindenhurst after Ciambriello struck a police car and backed into another. When police got to him, he tried to flee by jumping out of his car.
“He began to run away and it took five or six officers some time to bring him under control,” Suffolk County police inspector Gerard Gigante said.
Ciambriello became violent and had to be tazed, authorities said.
Children at the school had been on lockdown after the 911 calls were made. Parents of the students scurried to the school and were relieved everyone was safe, but were disturbed by the day’s drama.
“I’m just so pleased that they were on the ball and they noticed someone suspicious,” one parent told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.
Lindenhurst schools superintendent said a custodian spotted the suspect “lurking around the building, looking in windows [and] looking in the door.”
In all, police said Ciambriello struck five police cars and caused one civilian driver to veer off the road and strike a tree after that individual tried to avoid the suspect vehicle.
The civilian was not injured, but five police officers and one lieutenant were treated at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip for minor injuries.
Ciambriello, of Lindenhurst, was also taken to Good Samaritan. He was arrested and charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs and criminal mischief.
The investigation is continuing and additional charges are pending. Earlier in the day, several drivers told police the Corvette also forced them off the road.
“He said he was a CIA agent…I mean, who says that? He pulled us over, cut me off right in front,” one motorist said.
Ciambriello is expected to be processed at the precinct Friday night and arraigned in court in Saturday morning.
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