Deputies nab DUI motorcyclist after chase

James O’Donnell

James O’Donnell

CORNVILLE -- Sunday night about 9 p.m., a Yavapai County Sheriff's deputy spotted a silver motorcycle that had apparently crashed on the side of Cornville Road in the area of mile marker 7. As the deputy approached, another motorist explained she had just found the rider and his motorcycle and had stopped to render aid and immediately noticed alcohol on the rider's breath.

When the deputy approached the rider, the man got on his motorcycle, started the motor, ignoring the officer's orders to dismount. The bike rider looked directly at the deputy, grinned, and rode off. The deputy initiated a pursuit, but eventually terminated the chase for the safety of the rider and other motorists.

The deputy did eventually catch up to the motorcycle, still on Cornville Road, and saw the rider wave at him to "go around." However, continuing to follow the bike, the deputy watched the rider enter Interstate 17 south and reach speeds of at least 70 mph. A DPS officer in the area was called to assist and eventually stopped the rider near SR 260 on I-17.

The rider, identified as 48-year-old James O'Donnell from Black Canyon City, was detained by deputies who immediately detected the odor of alcohol on his breath. O'Donnell admitted avoiding law enforcement because he had been drinking beer at a Cornville bar before the accident on Cornville Road. His speech was slurred and he appeared disoriented. O'Donnell was arrested for DUI and unlawful flight from pursuing law enforcement vehicle (a felony).

During booking, deputies obtained a breath sample from O'Donnell that measured .203 - more than twice the legal limit. As a result, the extreme DUI classification was charged during booking. He remains in custody on a $7,500 bond.

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