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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.

Suspect Who Crashed While Fleeing From Police Has Died

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.

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