Ithaca, N.Y. — A Florida man has been taken to the Tompkins County Jail after leading local law enforcement on a 21 mile chase that lasted about 45 minutes.


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The 21st Century Library Campaign — Tompkins County Public Library

Matthew J. Lee, 25, of Silver Springs, has been charged with two counts of Unlawfully Fleeing a Police Officer in a Motor Vehicle 3rd, Driving While Intoxicated, Unlawful Possession of Marihuana, a probation violation warrant and numerous other vehicle and traffic law violations, according to state police.

He was arrested on Thursday at about 1:58 a.m., according to a state police news release.

Here’s what happened, according to state police:

Lee was stopped for having an inadequate headlight while driving on Robinson Hollow Road in the Town of Richford.

“During the stop Lee pulled away in his vehicle and fled the scene,” a news release said.

The chase would end 45 minutes later when Lee drove into a field, off of State Route 79 in the Town of Caroline, and got his 1998 Plymouth Voyager van stuck. After a short foot pursuit he was arrested.

“Lee was found to be driving while intoxicated and unlawfully possessing a small amount of marihuana.”

“He refused to submit to a breath test and was found to be wanted on a probation violation warrant. Lee was arraigned in the Town of Caroline Court and remanded to the Tompkins County Jail in lieu of $5,000.00 cash bail or $10,000.00 property bond.”

“He is to re-appear in the Town of Caroline Court on May 18, 2015.”

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.