CLEVELAND (WJW) – Video released to the FOX 8 I-Team shows how state troopers chased a dirt bike in Cleveland for over two hours. The I-Team tracked down that rider to have him explain why he didn’t stop.
It happened last week. The video was captured by a crew with an Ohio State Highway Patrol helicopter.
The video shows, for two hours and 15 minutes, troopers in the air tracked the dirt bike for troopers on the ground.
In the video, you hear “He just pulled a U-turn in the middle of the intersection” and “Just blew the intersection.”
You can see the dirt bike going the wrong way on streets, cutting through fields and more. The I-Team went to see the rider, Willie Lavant, to find out what he was thinking.
“He didn’t let me go. He chased me all day long with that helicopter,” Lavant said.
So, we also asked why he didn’t just pull over and stop. He said he tried to make a deal when troopers got close.
“I offered to let me go home. Let me go home and put the bike up,” he said.
We reminded Lavant it didn’t sound like he understands many people are fed up with dirt bikes on the streets because they’re illegal.
“We’re not really in the streets. We’re in and out, and I don’t get what’s illegal about it,” Lavant responded. “Cleveland, Garfield, no other officers mess with me. It was just State Patrol chasing me that day.”
The video also shows how it finally ended when the dirt bike ran out of gas after two hours on the run and Lavant surrendered.
The chopper called out, “He’s out of gas. Going to bail. Laying on the ground, laying on the ground.”
“Yeah, ran out of gas,” Lavant said to the I-Team.
At the end of the chase, that dirt bike rider got a ride to the county jail, but he ended up being released with no charges.
However, that does not mean he’s off the hook. Simply, troopers plan to put a case together and come back to the justice center and go before a grand jury to ask for felony charges.
Lavant reacted to that, saying, “I ain’t got time for that felony charges stuff. That’s why I’m chilling. Like, it ain’t worth it for a bike.”
The patrol says, that night, troopers had time to stick with a two-hour chase.
Dirt bikes have become a chronic problem on local streets. The patrol calls this doing what it takes to get justice.
Troopers say that rider also had some drugs, and those drugs are now being tested.
Lavant says he did not have drugs or a weapon.
Record show, though, on Thursday, he plead guilty in Cuyahoga County Court to carrying a concealed weapon. He received a sentence of time already served in jail.