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Suspect Who Crashed While Fleeing From Police Has Died

Lakewood Police Department investigates every police chase it's involved in — regardless of its outcome. The investigation in this chase isn't finished yet, said Lakewood Police Capt. Edward Hassing said.

The man Wednesday has died while at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.

Dana Barnes, 31, of Cleveland, was taken there for treatment immediately after the crash.

Lakewood Police Capt. Ed Hassing said that, while it is unfortunate that Barnes died, it is Barnes who chose to flee from police when an officer signalled for him to pull over.

"Had Mr. Barnes just stopped and talked to us, there wouldn't have been a crash," Hassing said. "But Mr. Barnes chose to flee."

An officer tried to stop Barnes because a woman had just called the police department, saying that he had tried to assault her and a friend of hers, Hassing said.

The woman later decided she didn't want to press charges but the police didn't know that yet at the time of the chase, Hassing added.

The initial call for help occurred at 4:29 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Lakewood Police Department report log.

At 4:37 a.m., an officer spotted Barnes' silver Oldsmobile Cutlass near the intersection of Clifton and Nicholson. The officer also observed that the Cutlass nearly hit several parked cars, Hassing said previously.

The officer signalled for Barnes to pull over; but, instead of complying, Barnes stopped for exactly four seconds and then sped away down Clifton, Hassing said. The officer pursued.

The chase itself was only slightly longer than a minute, according to the timer on the cruiser's dash camera. It began at 4:37:07 a.m. and, by 4:38:19 a.m., the officer saw Barnes' Cutlass had crashed into the front porch of a home in the 9000 block of Clifton Boulevard in Cleveland.

Hassing said that, when Barnes' Cutlass crashed into the house, it was not in view of the police cruiser.

"(The officer) wasn't close to the car when it collided with the home," he said.

Lakewood Police Department internally investigates every police chase it's involved in — regardless of its outcome.

The investigation in this chase isn't finished yet, Hassing said.

When asked, he said that any officer involved in a chase has the power to call it off if he feels it is unsafe. The officer in charge on every shift can also call a chase off.

Witnesses told police that Barnes had been drinking that night. A blood sample was taken from Barnes while he was at the hospital and the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office will test to see if Barnes was drunk at the time of the crash, Hassing said.

Hassing noted that, regardless of the outcome of the investigation, the department does not like to see anyone get hurt — much less die.

"We want everyone safe," he said.

m.z.1 February 21, 2013 at 09:08 PM
STOP with the police chases already! How many people have to get hurt or die before it stops? Do we have to wait until the person who perishes is someone City Hall cares about? Police and their uncontrolled urge to play like a cops in an L.A. movie scene- or worse trying to be like those savages in Cleveland a few month back. This is unacceptable. Lakewood is way too densely populated no room for any "Police Chase." I am betting a wrongful death lawsuit will follow.
DENNY MASSIMIANI February 21, 2013 at 10:50 PM
SIMPLY PUT " DRINKING AND DRIVING CAN GET YOU KILLED"
Eric Kvasnicka February 21, 2013 at 11:19 PM
Obey the law and pull over when ordered. Don't blame police for stupid criminal conduct. Eric K.
Barry February 22, 2013 at 12:54 AM
You've got to be kidding, So the riffraff get a free pass? For that matter, why don't we just lay off all the police? After all, people are basically good, right
m.z.1 February 22, 2013 at 02:08 PM
You people show zero humanity.
The original Bill February 22, 2013 at 02:51 PM
So your idea is to simply not let the police pull anybody over for breaking the law? Yea that will work real well.
The original Bill February 22, 2013 at 02:56 PM
What are you talking about? Who was the person fleeing from the police here? Are we supposed to let criminals off the hook if they don't want to stop for the police? Say somebody breaks into your house and assaults one of your family members. As he is leaving the scene he is spotted by a patrol car which attempts to pull him over. If he hits the gas and speeds off they should just let him go?
christina February 28, 2013 at 08:39 PM
much love thought and prayers to barnes family, and his fiance. i love u guys

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