East Cleveland police chase suspects 25 miles, into North Olmsted

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EAST CLEVELAND (WJW)– The FOX 8 I-Team found a police chase went for 25 miles from East Cleveland to North Olmsted. So we’re investigating the story behind it.

This comes as some local and state lawmakers are calling for all police in Ohio to start following the same rules for police chases.

Monday night, East Cleveland police spotted a car they said was stolen and looked like a car that was used in a shooting.

Officers chased the car through Cleveland and Fairview Park, then into North Olmsted. The suspect behind the wheel finally crashed with another driver.

Radio traffic shows the car speeding away hit speeds into the 90s. An officer said just before the crash, “94 miles an hour now. He’s gonna lose it here, soon.”

When the car crashed, an officer immediately called for firefighters and paramedics as the vehicle flipped and took down power lines.

We asked East Cleveland Police Chief Scott Gardner about the danger of allowing officers to chase for dozens of miles at high speeds.

“Its obviously something the supervisor takes into consideration. And, had the traffic conditions been different, had there been pedestrian traffic, it probably would’ve been called off,” Gardner said.

Police video shows as the chase moved into Cleveland, one man jumped out of the car and officers arrested him. Plus, a witness found a gun that was thrown out of the car.

“I seen something come out the car when they were chasing,” the witness said.

“Oh? So, you saw it come out the car?” an officer said.

Video from private security cameras shows the chase going past an RTA bus with passengers and going through a busy intersection with many other cars.

Still, the East Cleveland police chief argued officers used caution. He said no one got seriously hurt and, ultimately, police arrested three people.

Time and again, we’ve seen East Cleveland police chase into other towns. But, Cleveland police face very strict rules on chases.

The East Cleveland chief said he hopes for one statewide chase policy. He said he believes that might even make those who are wanted think twice.

“When you do catch the offenders, they’ve actually come back and told us, ‘I didn’t think you’d  pursue us. That’s why we ran from you,'” Gardner said.

We’re watching for developments with any statewide chase policy.

Some Cleveland Council members would also like to stop allowing outside police agencies to chase within the city limits. Cleveland police policy said if an outside agency is chasing in Cleveland, city officers can not get involved unless that agency asks them to do it and their boss allows it.

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