CLEVELAND — A 21-year-old Garfield Heights man is facing a pair of felony charges after leading Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) troopers on a two-hour chase with his dirt bike through the streets of Cleveland last week.
According to OSHP Sgt. Ray Santiago, the incident took place on August 25. At 6:18 p.m., troopers discovered a pair of dirt bikes "being operated recklessly" on East 40th Street near Quincy Avenue. A traffic stop was attempted with one of the dirt bikes, but it kept going and caused troopers to pursue.
The OSHP broke off their ground pursuit and tracked the dirt biker with their patrol chopper. The chopper monitored the dirt bike's movements for two hours.
Chopper video released by the OSHP shows the dirt bike operator, identified as Willie T. Lavant, riding on sidewalks and through parks and city playgrounds. He nearly hit several pedestrians and also made a u-turn in the middle of an intersection. You can watch the footage in the player below.
Santiago says that troopers tried to apprehend Lavant several times during the chase, but ground units would not engage in a pursuit once he continued to flee.
Troopers also observed Lavant at one point carrying what was believed to be a firearm. He is suspected to have either discarded the gun or handed it off to an accomplice during the chase. No gun was recovered by the OSHP.
The incident ended at approximately 8:25 p.m. when Lavant's dirt bike ran out of gas. He surrendered himself to troopers. Lavant was also found to be in possession of suspected narcotics when he was taken into custody.
Lavant was charged with failure to comply/fleeing and possession of a schedule I or II controlled substance. Both are felonies. He was taken to the Cuyahoga County Jail.
The incident remains under investigation.