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Man leads police on ‘reckless’ chase

By Mark Young, Islander Reporter

Matthew S. Harrod

At approximately 2:20 p.m., Feb. 18, Holmes Beach police attempted to stop motorcycle rider Matthew S. Harrod, 21, of Bradenton, for not wearing proper eye protection.

The attempt to stop Harrod launched what police described as a reckless chase in which “the defendant willingly endangered lives of motorists and civilians by driving into bike lanes and in and out of vehicles,” according to the arrest report.

Police say Harrod apparently didn’t stop because his driver’s license is revoked. He admitted to police that his intention was to get away.

The chase started in the 5300 block of Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, and ended with Harrod being forced off the road when he attempted to crash into the arresting officer’s vehicle, in the 10000 block of Manatee Avenue.

According to the report, Harrod fled the traffic stop by driving at a high rate of speed into the bike lane, bypassing several vehicles. A second Holmes Beach police officer soon joined the chase.

As the chase neared the Anna Maria Island Bridge, Harrod crossed the double yellow line into oncoming traffic, “forcing vehicles off the roadway,” according to the report.

The second HBPD vehicle managed to get in front of Harrod but, upon crossing the bridge, Harrod accelerated and smacked the mirror of the lead patrol car, according to the report, which said Harrod then attempted to ram into the patrol car.

Harrod and the second patrol car exited the roadway, avoiding any collision. The chase ended with one patrol car and the motorcycle stuck in the mud. The arresting officer drew his weapon, at which point Harrod is reported to have laughed.

Harrod was charged with felony fleeing to elude. Holmes Beach Police Department also has filed a felony driving while driver’s license revoked for habitual offender charge. Misdemeanor charges also have been filed for failure to have the proper endorsement on a driver’s license for a motorcycle, and reckless driving.

Harrod was booked into the Manatee County jail after first being medically cleared at Manatee Memorial Hospital.

He is scheduled for arraignment March 16, and has tallied separate bonds on the multiple charges totaling approximately $8,000.

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