Lake Grove man used mask as fake passenger in HOV lane: police

Police said the mask was strapped to the front passenger seat.

LAKE GROVE, NY AND COMMACK, NY ( / — The lifeless theatrical mask did not dupe a Suffolk cop patrolling the Long Island Expressway HOV lane in Commack during the Wednesday evening commute.

Justin Kunis, 20, of Lake Grove allegedly strapped a costume mask to the front passenger headrest of his vehicle, making it appear there was a second person in the car to meet the occupancy requirement for driving in the HOV lane, police said.

"Highway Patrol Officer Jonathan Abrams was traveling on the Long Island Expressway, just before the Sagtikos Parkway at exit 52, when he became suspicious of the front passenger of a 2017 Nissan sedan in the HOV lane at approximately 7:15 p.m.," Suffolk County Police said in a statement released Wednesday night.

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The police statement continued: "Officer Abrams initiated a traffic stop and observed the driver, Justin Kunis, had attached a drama mask to the front passenger headrest in an attempt to make it look like a passenger was in the vehicle."

Kunis was issued a summons for the HOV occupancy violation, police said.

The HOV lane is reserved for use by vehicles with two or more occupants, "Clean Pass Vehicles," buses, and motorcycles every weekday from 6-10 a.m. and 3-8 p.m.


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