EXCLUSIVE: Man wrongly charged in chase says cops wouldn't listen

MASTIC - Police say they nabbed the wrong man after a chase in Suffolk today, and News 12 Long Island spoke exclusively with the man who was wrongly accused. Investigators say an Acura SUV was reported stolen in Nassau County at around 12:30 a.m., and Suffolk police spotted the SUV on Route 112. When officers attempted to pull the driver over, he fled, leading police on a chase from Coram to Yaphank.Lavonne Berryhill, 26, happened to be watching unrelated drag racing at the spot where the police chase ended on the LIE service road by Sills Road. Police had laid down "stop sticks" to puncture the fleeing SUV's tires, and a passerby spotted Berryhill in the area and pointed him out to police. Police say he matched the description of the suspect, so they handcuffed him and took him back to the 5th Precinct for questioning. Berryhill, of Mastic, says he spent more than 12 hours under arrest for a crime he had nothing to do with. He says he repeatedly told police he knew nothing about the stolen SUV, but they told him he was lying. He says police finally let him go after three people confirmed he was merely a spectator at the drag race and that he had been at work at the time the SUV was stolen. Police say they arrested Berryhill because he was the only one who was running from the scene at the time.Berryhill says he's angry that police got it wrong, but his mother tells News 12 Long Island that she's glad it was all sorted out and justice prevailed.Suffolk police say charges have been dropped against Berryhill. They say they believe the real suspect fled the scene on foot and is still on the loose.

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