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Gaston police detain motorcyclist after long pursuit Tuesday

Gaston, SC (Paul Kirby) – Gaston Police Department’s officers and their chief detained and then fined a motorcyclist after a long pursuit. There were two bikes that were initially involved. The riders fled officers Tuesday afternoon. The fate of the second rider hasn't been released.

The pursuit started after an officer tried to stop the motorcycles. Instead of yielding, the operators accelerated, thinking they could elude the well-trained and experienced officers. After the bikers initiated the pursuit, the riders sped away down Hwy. 321 south, heading northbound toward Cayce where that department was preparing to assist. Major Stephen Watkins, the spokesman for the department, joined in with his Pursuit Charger, eventually taking the lead position. This certainly wasn’t his first rodeo. He is well known for his ability to catch and arrest fleeing vehicles. In the pursuit Tuesday, the officers worked flawlessly as a team to catch the fleeing cyclist.

Police stayed right on one of the biker’s tail, as he was making numerous turns to try and shake the cruisers. Police Chief Shawn Mohundro was constantly monitoring the chase for the safety of other motorists, his officers, and the biker himself. Normal pursuit intervention techniques can’t be used to stop motorcycles for fear the rider would injure or kill himself in the almost certain ensuing crash.

One of the riders eventually doubled back toward Gaston where the chief was waiting. Again, the motorcyclist made multiple turns to attempt to lose the cruisers in the town. He eventually ended up on a dirt road where he tried to dust Watkins out in the lead car. At an intersection in the road, the rider slowed, attempted the turn, and then laid the bike down in sand as the chief's cruiser was in the intersection. He told the officers he was uninjured and was quickly detained.

The Gaston Police Department has not yet released the names of the operators or what they may be charged with. The Suzuki motorcycle of the rider who crashed was damaged and impounded by the police. Certainly, the riders were operating recklessly as they were marked by radar doing over 100 mph when the Gaston officers first noticed them and tried to make the traffic stop. The riders, including the one who crashed, could face multiple charges including failure to stop as well. Again, the fate of the other rider hasn't been released. All charges will be decided by the officers.

We hope to gather more information on the rider’s identity and and charges later today.

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