MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) — The very latest advancement in law enforcement technology is being credited with helping police arrest a fugitive wanted for murder.
Police body camera video obtained by FOX 8 News shows a Middleburg Heights police officer chasing after a Cleveland Heights man, who led police on a high speed pursuit onto Interstate 71 on Nov. 10 before crashing his pickup truck into a guardrail.
Forty-nine-year-old Marlon Hale was wanted by Cleveland police in connection with a Nov. 8 murder in the city’s Collinwood neighborhood. Investigators say Hale intentionally ran over his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend, 49-year-old Irving Fincher, with his pickup truck and then fled.
On the body camera video, the Middleburg Heights officer can be seen striking Hale twice with a non-lethal shock weapon after Hale initially refused to comply with the officer’s command to get on the ground. Hale was then handcuffed and taken to jail.
Police had been searching for Hale for two days with no luck. But when Hale’s pickup truck passed a Flock Safety Automated License Plate Reading camera in Middleburg Heights, the officer was alerted that the truck and Hale were sought by detectives in Cleveland in connection with Fincher’s murder.
The city of Middleburg Heights purchased 17 of the Flock cameras earlier this year, and those who supported the $60,000 purchase say the cameras have given the long arm of the law an even greater reach in real-time.
“I think for us, it’s really information. You know, many times we’ve probably driven by a vehicle that could have been wanted, but now we have these Flock cameras, and if that vehicle is entered into that system, we’re going to know somebody wants that vehicle,” Police Chief Ed Tomba told FOX 8.
The cameras have also been effective in helping notify police about stolen vehicles, helping them track down people who have been reported missing, and resolving domestic situations.
“If a suspect left in a vehicle, we enter that plate into the system and then when the plate comes back into the city, we are aware of it. We can go to the house and try to adjust the situation or even prevent a further situation from happening,” said Tomba.
In the case of Marlon Hale, he might have gone undetected and remained a fugitive from the law, but the camera system raised the red flag that led to his arrest.
There are now more than 900 Flock safety cameras positioned around Northeast Ohio.