Imagine cars traveling I-84 at 65 mph looking like a series of turtles in the pathway of an oncoming luge sled. That might have been the effect when a motorcycle driver, traveling at 135 mph, began weaving between the usual traffic stream on the morning of July 19 just outside of Hood River.
A 20-year-old male was taken into custody by Oregon State Police and Portland Police Bureau after he attempted to elude officers on his sleek, black 2003 Yamaha motorcycle during a series of incidents starting in Hood River around 9 a.m.
The driver, Nikolay Mitkov, of northwest Portland, was ultimately apprehended on Highway 26 in southwest Portland, about 40 minutes later.
The first witness call came into OSP dispatch near 9 a.m. and was forwarded to Hood River City Police for response. Officers Juan Pulido and Eme Delancy entered I-84 in pursuit.
At approximately 9:07 a.m. Hood River County dispatch contacted OSP to report that the motorcycle driver was attempting to elude Hood River Police at speeds near 135 mph westbound on I-84 near milepost 58 west of Hood River.
According to Pulido while traffic was fairly light, Mitkov proceeded to weave in between cars, jumping between inside and outside lanes, sometimes passing on the shoulder. Pulido was able to keep pace with Mitkov until reaching the Multnomah County line. Both Hood River Police and OSP determined Pulido should terminate the chase at that point for safety reasons.
OSP troopers from the Portland Area Command office headed east to the Columbia River Gorge area to assist, but before OSP troopers were in position they were advised at 9:17 a.m. that the officer was terminating the pursuit at the Multnomah County line.
At approximately 9:25 a.m. an OSP trooper saw a motorcycle matching the description westbound on I-84 at milepost 22 near Corbett. Troopers attempted to stop the motorcycle westbound near milepost 16 but it failed to yield at 9:31 a.m. and attempted to elude at varying speeds in moderate to heavy traffic. OSP terminated the pursuit near milepost 3 at 9:37 a.m.
At approximately 9:43 a.m. a Portland Police Bureau motorcyle officer, aware of the previous incident, saw a motorcycle matching the description at the westbound onramp to Highway 26 from Interstate 405.
The PPB motorcycle officer tailed and then stopped the driver westbound Highway 26 at Sylvan after detecting it going 90 mph in a 50-mph speed zone. Mitkov was detained until OSP troopers arrived.
Mitkov was then arrested and was taken to the Multnomah County Detention Center on local charges of felony attempt to elude and reckless driving. He was also cited for driving while suspended.
Any witnesses who felt the motorcycle’s operation endangered their safety are asked to contact Senior Trooper Bob Fosburgh at 503-731-3020, ext. 417.