Panama City -- Just before 9 a.m. Wednesday morning, Florida Highway Patrol officers began a high speed pursuit of a motorcycle spotted near the intersection of Moylan Ave. and Back Beach Road in Panama City Beach. Speeds exceeded 100 mph at times, and the high speed chase didn’t end until the motorcyclist, Tanner Joel Morton, crashed while trying to turn onto Jenks Avenue in Panama City. Then, he took off on foot.
Morton was ultimately placed under arrest after a Panama City Police officer tackled him in front of an auto parts store near the intersection of Harrison Avenue and 15th Street. Employees of the parts store say the incident added a little excitement to their day, although they were glad no one was hurt.
Morton was driving a red Honda sport bike, and FHP officers say he accelerated past 100 mph at several times during the chase. They say when he tried to turn onto Jenks Avenue he lost control, sliding his motorcycle across the asphalt. The bike did not appear to be seriously damaged, but FHP officers say they were in such hot pursuit that the Morton did not have time to get back on the bike, and instead took off on foot.
Witnesses say Morton made it a little more than a block running, before police officers responding to help in the chase tackled him and placed him under arrest. He was handed over to FHP officers at that point.
Morton has is charged with aggraated fleeing and eluding, reckless driving, not having a motorcycle endorsement, and not having a license plate on his motorcycle.