STRONGSVILLE, Ohio -- Newly-released dash cam video and radio recordings from a deadly police chase on I-71 provide insight into the moments leading up to and after the police shooting of an unarmed suspect, including the officers’ intent to refrain from running up to the vehicle.
Investigators said Roy Evans, Jr., 37, was driving a van that failed to pull over for a traffic stop on I-71 in Strongsville around 2:30 a.m. on March 7. He led police on a high speed chase that ended in Medina.
“I got a van trying to ditch me,” a Strongsville officer can be heard saying in radio recordings obtained by Fox 8 News. “Hundred miles an hour crossing the toll road.”
The chase continued for 16 miles, with officers updating dispatch as it progressed.
Troopers eventually used spike strips to slow the van.
“Radio, advise he rammed a cruiser here,” an officer said after Evans collided with the side of a cruiser on the highway.
“If no one bails, we're just doing a felony call out. We're not charging up on the car,” an officer said minutes before the end of the chase.
After spike strips were deployed, the van eventually spun out and police cruisers barricaded it.
Evans can then be seen ramming forward into a police SUV, then stopping.
Dash cam video from Strongsville police cruisers reveals two officers ran up to the driver’s side door, and an officer can be heard firing at Evans within two seconds of the door being opened.
Officers are then heard ordering Evans to show his hands three times. There was no body camera video to show what the officers saw, but state investigators said they did not find a weapon in the van.
Video from another cruiser shows Evans’ girlfriend, who was in the passenger seat, leaning over as officers pulled Evans from the van. They later began CPR.
There were three children in the van, and some of them can be seen on video watching what was happening from the back seat.
The girlfriend, Amanda Pauley, was handcuffed then later placed in a cruiser with the children.
Evans has a long criminal record and was released from prison in the fall. Pauley told Fox 8 News Evans ran because he did not want to return to prison and that she told him to pull over.
The Strongsville Police Department’s chase policy, obtained by Fox 8 News, states the decision to pursue should be based on multiple factors including seriousness of the original offense, the area the pursuit will take place, road conditions and knowledge of the driver's identity.
The department’s use of force policy states deadly force can be used to protect an officer from an imminent threat of death or serious physical harm and to prevent the escape of a fleeing felon who has caused or threatened to cause serious physical harm or death.
It also states officers should first try to identify themselves and state their intent to use deadly force when feasible.
Strongsville Police Chief Mark Fender declined to identify the officer involved but said he has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of a state investigation. That could take several additional weeks.