Woman faces several charges after allegedly driving under the influence, leading police on chase through construction zone

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio -- A Painesville woman faces several charges accusing her of leading officers on a dangerous chaser through a highway construction zone. Police say she nearly struck an officer, while driving under the influence, until she was arrested in front of her home.

Cassidy Bittner, 34, is out of jail after posting the required 10% of a $25,000 bond. She is charged with a felony count of failure to comply with an order or signal of police officer and misdemeanor counts of OVI, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, prohibition against driving on a closed highway and open container in a motor vehicle.

Just before 3:00 a.m. Wednesday, a Willoughby police officer was sitting in a work zone on Interstate 90 eastbound when he heard a honking horn from a vehicle stopped behind a construction truck.
The officer says when he approached the vehicle, it nearly struck him and he jumped back into his cruiser to follow it.

"She's about 95 in the construction zone," the officer is heard saying over the police radio.

Dashcam video shows the blue Toyota weaving through construction equipment on the closed portion of the highway. The driver is seen exiting at Route 306.

"Going north on 306 through a red light," the officer reports.

Willoughby police continue to follow the vehicle as it weaves off the road and barrels through more red lights and stop signs.

"Did you get a look at the female driving, will you be able to identify her?” asks one officer over the radio.

“Affirmed, she almost hit me when she pulled away from me and she almost took out numerous construction vehicles in the zone," the initial officer responded.

Officers predicted Bittner was driving home to Painesville and contacted Mentor police who were ready with stop sticks to slow her down.

"They definitely got a couple of tires," an officer says, after the sticks were deployed.

Even with punctured tires, the driver continued slowly to Bittner's condo and about 15 minutes after the pursuit began, officers take her into custody.

"My apartment's over there, you're about to impound my car for what?" Bittner said to the officers as they arrested her in her driveway.

Later Wednesday morning, a Willoughby Municipal Court judge set Bittner's bond at $25,000.

"I am not a flight risk, I go to my court dates. I own my house. I work. I am a single mom. This is gonna set me very far back," pleaded Bittner.

No construction workers were injured in the incident.

Bittner is scheduled to return to court for a preliminary hearing on Thursday, May 30.

Continuing coverage, here.

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