Sportbikers Lead Police on Chase

This was big news around here yesterday, leading all the local newscasts.

Incidentally, one of the riders arrested (2 out of a reported 15) was a volunteer cop. He was suspended by his department pending an investigation. Or interrogation, however you want to put it.

I'd say a cop initiating a chase, with sportbikes (they all know what these bikes are capable of) for doing 75 in a 60 is foolhardy at best. Can we concentrate on the soccer moms driving escalades while dripping their latte's in their laps because they're fumbling for their cell phones please?

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Motorcyclists arrested after 130 mph chase through metro area
John McIntyre, Star Tribune
March 30, 2005 BIKE0331

Maybe it was spring fever. Or maybe it was the challenge of testing police officers.

Whatever the cause, three speeding motorcyclists are in trouble today.

At about 11 p.m. on Tuesday, a Bloomington police officer reported that 15 motorcyclists were traveling about 75 miles per hour along eastbound Interstate Hwy. 494, said Kevin Herman, a Bloomington police commander.

When the officer attempted to make a traffic stop at I-35W, only one of the bikes, carrying a passenger, pulled over.

"This motorcycle didn't even come to a complete stop," Herman said. "But she (the officer) was able to get up behind it and read the license. The thing popped a wheelie and continued off eastbound."

The Bloomington officer sped after the motorcycles and called for additional help, but finally broke off the chase when the bikes reached speeds of 125 to 130 mph, Herman said.

Ending a chase is at the officer's discretion, he said.

"We have a pretty liberal chase policy," Herman said. "It's weighing the risk involved as opposed to the gain. For what was basically a speeding violation, I think she made a very prudent choice."

Two State Patrol troopers picked up the Bloomington officer's call and waited for the riders on I-494 in Bloomington.

"They pursued the first two bikes that came through," said Kevin Smith, state patrol spokesman said. "That pursuit continued into Washington County on 494. Our reports are that these two motorcycles were hitting 130 mph, plus."

One motorcyclist was finally apprehended at I-494 and Lake Road in Woodbury; the other was nabbed in the parking lot of Oak Park Heights City Hall.

Two men, ages 27 and 25, were arrested. Charges were pending in Washington County today.

They were driving a 2003 Yamaha 750 cc and a 2001 Suzuki 750 cc motorcycle, Smith said.

The license plate number of the motorcycle stopped by the Bloomington officer is being being forwarded to the traffic investigation unit, Herman said.

Smith speculated on what the bikers motive.

"It does not appear alcohol was involved," he said. "It appears that these guys just do it for the fun of it, to see how far they can have the cops chase them.

"Frankly they're putting themselves and all other motorists on the road at risk. We've got better things to do than play with these guys."
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