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Alleged drunken driver leads police on chase in street sweeper

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Police say the man behind the wheel of this street sweeper was drunk when he led them on a slow-speed chase on Long Island Jan. 1, 2015. (Photo: New York State Police)

Police say the man behind the wheel of this street sweeper was drunk when he led them on a slow-speed chase on Long Island Jan. 1, 2015. (Photo: New York State Police)

LONG ISLAND (PIX11) — An allegedly drunken street sweeper started his new year by leading officers on a slow-speed chase on Long Island, police said Friday.

Jerry Mitchell, 48, of Brooklyn, faces charges of aggravated DWI and aggravated unlicensed operation, as well as other traffic charges, according to New York State Police.

Emergency calls began coming in shortly before 8 a.m. Thursday from worried drivers who spotted an erratic street sweeper driving east on Southern State Parkway near Exit 17 in Valley Stream, state police said.

Jerry Mitchell, of Brooklyn, was arrested Jan. 1, 2015, on suspicion of drunken driving and leading police on a chase while driving a street sweeper. (Photo: New York State Police)

Jerry Mitchell, of Brooklyn, was arrested Jan. 1, 2015, on suspicion of drunken driving and leading police on a chase while driving a street sweeper. (Photo: New York State Police)

A trooper found the street sweeper near Exit 22 and tried to pull it over, but the driver kept moving — at 35 mph, police said.

The slow-speed chase lasted about 5 minutes before the driver pulled over near Exit 26 and surrendered, police said.

Mitchell failed a sobriety test and was found to have a blood-alcohol level of .18 percent or more.

It was not immediately clear if Mitchell was permitted to drive the street sweeper.