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Dashcam found: Victim in similar pursuit a year ago

7:43 PM, Dec 5, 2012   |    comments
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WILLOWICK -- Startling new information revealed after interviews with some of the 13 Cleveland police officers involved in that fatal chase.

Almost a year to the day before Timothy Russell led Cleveland police on a 25-minute car chase with passenger Malissa Williams, he crashed his vehicle into a utility pole at the end of a police chase in Mentor.

The video comes from Willowick police cameras where the pursuit began.

It was 6 a.m. Dec. 3 when Timothy Russell tried to avoid a traffic stop by fleeing police.

It started as a slow-speed chase through Burger King's parking lot, then a cul-de-sac and then down Lakeshore Boulevard.

Speeds went up as high as 80 miles per hour at times.

The police report indicates that, when interviewed afterwards, the arresting officer asked how many alcoholic beverages Russell had.

Russell replied "plenty."

Several times during the chase there were dangerous close calls. The minivan Russell was driving forced traffic to the side of the road.

He drove into oncoming traffic, making three lanes out of two.

Then there was a move, head-on into an oncoming car that was forced off the road, before pulling back into his own lane.

The police chase ended for the Willowick officer when he accidentally ran over a stop-stick meant for Russell's minivan.

Russell crashed his minivan a few minutes later. He received treatment for minor injuries and was later arrested and charged with fleeing police.

Was he under the influence of alcohol during last Thursday's chase? Investigators say toxicology results, along with the gun powder residue test results, should be available in three to four days.

Related story: Was deadly Cleveland police pursuit terminated early? 

Related story: Medical Examiner: Driver in police pursuit shot 23 times

Related story: Cleveland: Pursuit tapes, officers' names released

Police say there was a shot fired from the suspect's car that started the pursuit last week. Investigators have not yet found a gun or even a shell casing in the suspect's car or elsewhere.

WKYC-TV

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