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Street-Sweeper Driver Charged With Drunken Driving On Long Island

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) - The operator of a street-sweeping vehicle who was spotted driving erratically on a highway has been arrested on drunken-driving charges.

New York State Police say Jerry Mitchell, of Brooklyn, was charged with aggravated DWI and aggravated unlicensed operation on New Year's Day.

As CBS2's Sonia Rincon reported, police say his blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit.

Street-Sweeper Driver Charged With Drunken Driving On Long Island

Police say they received several reported of an erratic street sweeper near exit 17 on the Southern State Parkway.

WCBS 880's Sophia Hall reported Mitchel was initially said to be cleaning parking lots in Brooklyn. Police say Mitchell claimed he wanted to get candy so he left with the vehicle, but then he got lost, ending up on Long Island.

The 48-year-old driver was traveling eastbound on Long Island's Southern State Parkway when a state trooper tried to pull him over.

Police say he fled, driving 35 mph with police in pursuit. He later stopped and surrendered just west of Exit 26.

No family members or friends were at his arraignment, and there was no comment from anyone at his home.

A friend was surprised to hear about his arrest.

"He keeps a job, comes from a stable family, this is shocking. I don't know what's going on," Steve Johnson said.

Mitchell pleaded not guilty and will have to come up with $2,500 bail. His license has been suspended.

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(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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