Chase or don't chase? Wanted man takes off from traffic stop - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Chase or don't chase? Wanted man takes off from traffic stop

19 Action News has obtained Cleveland Police radio tape showing an officer letting a wanted man go when he took off during a traffic stop.

This case adds to the great debate about when officers should chase--a debate raging ever since a massive chase turned deadly.

In this case, a Cleveland Policeman pulled over a driver at West 3rd and Lakeside.

The man sped off and the officer let him go even though he had a warrant out for his arrest.

The radio chatter shows the officer said, "The vehicle took off on me. I'm not following it."and then, "Have the info for the male who's driving it and he happens to have a warrant out of Cleveland for stealing a car."

There's a great debate now about when police should chase--especially after what happened more than a year ago.  A massive chase began when a Cleveland officer thought he had heard a gunshot from a car.  Police later killed the driver and passenger.

A Cleveland Police spokesman says there are lots of factors to consider before chasing including the amount of traffic, the road conditions, and what police know about the driver.

In this case, the officer then went on to say, 

"He got on the freeway going eastbound on Route 2 from west. I don't know where he went from there cause I wasn't gonna follow."

Police later discovered the man also had a license plate stolen from the private car of another cop.

Brecksville Police arrested the man  days later for something else then turned him over to Cleveland Police.

Some officers grumble, if they don't chase, bad guys will start to think they can always run.

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