MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) — A 19-year-old motorcyclist from Miami Beach who the Florida Highway Patrol clocked at more than 150 miles per hour on I-75 on Monday near Naples says he lost track of his speed during his “thrill ride” and never intended to elude the troopers who followed him.
FHP also released dramatic dash cam video to CBS4 that shows the motorcyclist going so fast that two troopers were unable to keep up with him.
CBS4’s Peter D’Oench spoke exclusively with the motorcyclist, Santiago Guerra Pineda, who was arrested by FHP troopers on State Road 29 and charged with reckless driving and fleeing or eluding troopers at a high rate of speed.
Watch Peter D’Oench’s report, click here.
“Honestly I was just heading back home,” said Guerra. “Yes I was speeding but I did not see the cops that were on the side. At no point did I plan on running from the cops. The thing is when you ride the motorcycle you can’t let the motorcycle get control of you and at that moment the motorcycle took control of me and I just kept going faster and faster.”
“So you lost track of your speed?” asked D’Oench.
“Yes,” said Guerra.
“They say you went at least 150 miles per hour?” asked D’Oench.
“Yes, that’s true,” said Guerra. “I could have gone that fast.”
Dash cam video shows what happened when FHP says Guerra sped by a trooper Monday afternoon on his CBR 600 Honda motorcycle. It takes the trooper exactly four minutes to catch up with Guerra after driving southbound on I-75 at a high rate of speed. The motorcycle is seen briefly on the video.
“He was at a hundred, over 150 and he went off around the shoulder to avoid me,” the trooper says on his radio. He is not able to keep up with the motorcycle.
Later, a second trooper spots the motorcycle.
“He just passed me at 135 going eastbound,” that trooper says on his radio. “The road is wet. I’m not going to pursue.” Later, that same trooper says, “Signal 14. My 2nd clock. He’s about 157.”
The Florida Highway Patrol said troopers caught up with Guerra after he ran out of gas and asked a passerby to help him.
Guerra gave a demonstration of how he was riding his motorcycle and how he says he did not see any troopers as he was crouched down.
“Once you’re on the bike in this position, leaning forward, you can’t see the mirrors. You can’t see anything from the wind. I’m just looking forward. I am having a thrill ride. I do like the feeling of the thrill. It’s a thrill ride,” he said. “When you ride you are tucked in low with your helmet and the wind around you. And you have no visibility and the wind is hitting you.”
“The thing is when you ride your motorcycle you can’t let the motorcycle get control of you and at that point the motorcycle took control of me and I just kept going faster and faster,” he said. “But again at no point did I feel I was running from the cops.”
He said he had only received one speeding ticket before and said it was dismissed. He said he is attending F.I.U. and also has a job in a restaurant on Miami Beach.
“My record is clean,” he said. “I’m a student. I work. I sustain myself and at no point do I want to get myself in that business because I’m not a bad kid. I’ve never been a bad kid.”
FHP says it is alarmed by this incident.
Capt. Conner Cardwell said, “The concern we have is the danger not just to yourself but to the public out there in general as well as law enforcement. At such a high rate of speed it’s not going to take very much to cause a problem. Road debris or any unforeseen movement by another vehicle could cause an accident and on a motorcycle you don’t have the protection that you have in a vehicle.”
Guerra’s mug shot taken by FHP shows him with a smile on his face. But Guerra said he could explain that.
He said just prior to the photograph, he was telling the trooper that he had kidded with his friends that whenever a mug shot was taken of them, it would probably end up on Facebook.
“So he went to take my picture and he told me to look up and when I looked on he said this one is for Facebook and that is when I started laughing just before he took the picture,” said Guerra.
He also said this incident was no laughing matter.
“Now that I’m talking to my parents and my family and friends, it’s definitely got me thinking I have to slow down and maybe I’ll take a retreat from my motorcycle for a little bit,” he said.
“Definitely speed will get you nowhere,” he said. “Speed will get you nowhere and safety is something you need to think about. You need to think about it for yourself and the people around you. Not only the people on the highway but family members are going to miss you once you get stopped, not by police but by a car, truck or a wall you might hit.”
Guerra said he would be returning to Naples on July 7 for a hearing about his case. He said he plans to “take responsibility” for reckless driving but he would also tell the Judge in this case that he never meant to elude troopers. He said he truly hopes the Judge will believe him.
Guerra said he purchased his CBR 600 Honda motorcycle second hand for $4,000.
Guerra was released after posting bond.
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