In the ongoing war against drug trafficking, police are called upon to be vigilant and to follow up on any suspicious circumstance they might encounter, no matter how innocent the scenario may turn out to be. This was the case in Wickliffe on the morning of March 6, when a 42-year-old Cleveland man was pursued and detained by police after allegedly taking part in a drug deal. He now faces felony charges of fleeing police and drug charges for heroin possession.
Wickliffe police report they observed the man engaged in suspicious activities, and dispatched a marked squad car to stop him on I-90 westbound. After being pulled over, the man fled the scene in his vehicle. This initiated a short car chase that police say was called off to avoid injuring civilians.
During the chase, the man allegedly threw several small bags from his vehicle. Police later recovered bags matching the description; the bags reportedly contained heroin. The man’s car was recovered around 11:00 a.m. in Cleveland, and he was peaceably detained shortly thereafter after being discovered walking nearby.
As always, the burden of proof rests with the state. This means prosecutors will have to prove the suspect was taking part in illicit activities prior to being pulled over, a burden that will include proving the recovered bags of heroin were the same ones allegedly discarded by the suspect. Many of the details of this case can be credibly argued in a court of law. Even if the charge of fleeing police is indisputable, it cannot be taken as an admission of guilt concerning the drug charges.
Source: news-herald.com, “Cleveland man faces drug charge and accused of fleeing Wickliffe Police,” Matthew Skrajner, March 7, 2013