MEDINA TWP., Ohio -- Medina Township police are searching for the driver of a motorcycle clocked at speeds over 150 miles per hour after an officer tried stopping it on Interstate 71 Tuesday.
Medina Township Police Chief David Arbogast said one of his officers attempted to stop the motorcycle driver when he was going 79 miles per hour in the southbound lanes of the interstate about 7 p.m. Tuesday.
The driver, however, accelerated to speeds faster than the cruiser could go.
"The first time it was 154, then it went to 155 then to 156 miles per hour," said Arbogast.
The police department reached out to the Ohio Highway Patrol for their assistance, and troopers just happened to have a fixed wing airplane in the area at the time doing traffic enforcement.
Troopers continued to watch from the air as the motorcycle continued at high speeds south on Interstate 71, exiting on Interstate 76 eastbound toward Wadsworth.
"It's sort of classified as a pursuit, but we were so far behind it our vehicles could not keep up with it -- the only reason we were able to track it was because of the airplane," said Arbogast.
Along the way, the motorcycle continued to pass state troopers on the ground, still being observed from the air.
"There was, I believe, a Wadsworth car that was sitting in an exit ramp. As soon as he saw another car he picked up and from the air I believe they clocked him at 110, 112, 114 miles an hour," said Arbogast.
The police chief said his department does have a pursuit policy, which his officers followed.
Their concern at the time was not only for the safety of the motorcyclist himself, but for that of the other drivers on the road who he was flying past.
"Any number of things could have gone wrong and actually -- if he dumped the bike he probably would have killed himself," said Arbogast.
The motorcycle was watched as the driver exited onto route 261, then turned onto South Hametown road in Copley where he ditched the bike in a garage before taking off on foot.
Police recovered the motorcycle, a Honda RC 51 racing bike, which they say appears to have been modified.
Arbogast said the vehicle identification numbers do not match the tag that was on the motorcycle.
Investigators, along with the Medina Township police, are following leads to try to find the driver while they are also trying to determine if the motorcycle was stolen.
If it has been reported stolen the driver faces even more serious charges when he is caught.