Motorcyclist eludes police in high-speed pursuit on I-64

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Authorities are working to find a motorcyclist who eluded police after a high speed chase on I-64 Sunday. (file photo)
Authorities are working to find a motorcyclist who eluded police after a high speed chase on I-64 Sunday. (file photo)

Police are looking to identify a motorcyclist on a yellow sport bike that was involved in a high-speed police pursuit on Interstate 64 Sunday.

The motorcyclist eluded both Williamsburg Police and Virginia State Police between 3:50 and 4:36 p.m. Sunday, according to police reports.

The motorcyclist was first spotted speeding near the intersection of N. Henry Street and Route 132 in Williamsburg, said Maj. Greg Riley, spokesman for the Williamsburg Police Department.

A Williamsburg officer attempted to perform a traffic stop on the bike, but when the officer turned on the sirens, the motorcyclist turned around, looked at the police officer and sped away, Riley said.

The motorcycle traveled on Route 132 toward the interstate. The officer stopped trying to pursue the motorcycle as it turned left onto Route 143, which leads to exit 238 on I-64, Riley said.

Williamsburg Police have a “fairly restrictive” pursuit policy, which only allows officers to engage in high-speed pursuits if there are known violent felonies that have been committed. Supervisors monitor all pursuits and will terminate the pursuit at any time if they feel the public is in great danger, Riley said.

“The last thing you want to happen is some incident where an innocent person gets injured because a person is fleeing the police,” he said.

The officer issued a “be on the lookout” notification to police in other jurisdictions.

At 4:31 p.m., State Police received a call about a motorcycle traveling eastbound on the interstate at a high rate of speed, State Police spokeswoman Sgt. Michelle Anaya said.

The state trooper attempted to stop the motorcyclist before Victory Boulevard, but the motorcyclist continued until he exited the interstate at mile 258. He then went southbound on J. Clyde Morris Boulevard in Newport News, Anaya said.

A state police supervisor terminated the pursuit just before the rider got off the interstate, at 4:36 p.m., she said.

“Motorcyclists can be a danger to themselves and others, because motorcycles can lose control easier than other vehicles,” Anaya said. “Supervisors decided to terminate the pursuit based on how many people were on the road and for the safety of the general public.”

Police did not have information on what speed the pursuit reached or how many police cars total were involved.

A WYDaily reporter was driving east on the interstate near mile marker 255 when the motorcycle, pursued by four state police cars with blue lights flashing, sped by in the far left lane.

According to the reporter, the motorcycle appeared to be going at least 100 mph.

After terminating the pursuit, state police issued a “be on the lookout” to Newport News Police about the motorcyclist.

Newport News Police spokesman Lou Thurston said his office had not been notified of any high-speed pursuits involving Newport News police Sunday afternoon.

Williamsburg Police are currently working to get a license plate number on the bike and identify the rider, Riley said. Police say the rider of the yellow bike was a man with a green backpack.