Dirt-biker flees Aspen cops, arrested for DUI | AspenTimes.com

Dirt-biker flees Aspen cops, arrested for DUI

A 33-year-old local man who fled from police on a dirt bike after allegedly running a stop sign Friday night was later arrested for drunken driving, according to court documents.

Matthew Steele was charged with vehicular eluding, a felony, and five misdemeanors including DUI, reckless driving, driving without insurance, operating an unregistered motor vehicle and operating a motorcycle without a motorcycle license.

An Aspen police officer saw Steele on the non-street legal motorcycle run the stop sign at Gibson and South avenues at about 7:25 p.m., according to an affidavit filed in Pitkin County District Court.

"When Steele observed me making my U-turn (to pursue him), I observed him accelerate at a high rate of speed eastbound on South Avenue away from me," Officer Ryan Turner wrote in the affidavit.

Turner activated his lights and siren and pursued Steele. On Spruce Street, another officer in Turner's car saw Steele come within 3 feet of striking a pedestrian walking in the area, according to the affidavit.

Steele then overshot a turn on to the Hunter Creek Trail, stalled the motorcycle, stopped "and gave up," the affidavit states.

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Turner noted in the affidavit that he smelled both a "strong odor of marijuana" and alcohol on Steele's breath, and observed red and watery eyes.

"While Steele was trying to put the kickstand down on his bike so that he could get off and move it, he nearly lost control of the bike and fell down," according to the affidavit.

Steele declined to take a breath or blood alcohol test. Turner found a small amount of marijuana and a pipe on Steele after searching him, the affidavit states.

jauslander@aspentimes.com

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