Last Saturday afternoon, Feb. 21, when Deputy Mark Frick observed a group of three Yamaha Sport motorcycles fail to yield to oncoming traffic, he decided to pull in behind the trio as they headed westbound on Highway 198 (Sierra Drive).
“When we got to the Cider Mill, I noticed the lead rider turn and give me a look,” said Frick. “I thought, oh no, here we go. These guys are definitely going to take off. I also know there is no sheriff’s vehicle, especially my SUV model, that could keep up with these bikes.”
Deputy Frick’s intuition was spot on. The trio gunned their machines and the chase was on. Immediately a call to all area departments went out for assistance.
“By the time they reached the bottom of the hill below Lake Kaweah, they were going speeds in excess of 100 mph,” Deputy Frick said. “It’s a wonder they didn’t kill themselves or some other driver.”
Yamaha, Kawasaki, or any of a handful of other sport motorcycle makers market a street-legal machine that’s capable of speeds of 120 to 140 mph. They are known generically as ninjas (actually the name of Kawasaki model) or crotch rockets.
“If it wasn’t for the assistance of the Farmersville and Woodlake police departments, we would have never caught up with these guys,” continued Deputy Frick.
Arrested were Maximillian Newman, 20, and Eric Newman, 19, both from Visalia. Eric was apprehended after a brief second pursuit.
Both subjects were booked at the Tulare County pre-trial facility and now face charges of evading arrest and reckless driving.
The third rider remains at large.
Anyone with information in the case should contact Deputy Frick at 740-8894.