Cleveland man arrested after striking Macedonia, Cuyahoga Heights police vehicles

April Helms
Kent Weeklies
Macedonia Police cruiser

MACEDONIA — A 31-year-old Cleveland man is facing at least two felony charges after he allegedly struck police cruisers in Macedonia and Cuyahoga Heights early Wednesday morning.

At 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, a Macedonia officer stopped James D. Avery Jr. in a silver Nissan Rogue for speeding east on Route 82, near South Freeway Drive. The officer pulled Avery over on Chamberlin Road near East Highland Road. Police said Avery had a male passenger and the passenger's three children in the vehicle with him.

According to Cleveland Municipal Court records, Avery was wanted on warrant for felonious assault, a second-degree felony, following an incident in December.

Avery reportedly shifted into drive and drove away after the officer asked him to turn the vehicle off. Avery turned east on East Highland Road, with the officer in pursuit.

Macedonia police reported Avery then stopped at East Highland Road and Boyle Parkway, attempted to make a U-turn and struck the front end of the officer's patrol car. The officer stated that he had attempted to use the patrol car to pin the Avery's vehicle against the curb.

The officer reported he got out of his patrol car and instructed Avery to turn the car off, and saw the front seat passenger put his hands up, and could hear the passenger telling Avery to stop. Instead, Avery drove off, according to a report.

The officer said he pursued Avery onto Interstate 271 north, but ended the pursuit in Cuyahoga County, where Avery was eventually apprehended.

Cuyahoga Heights police had monitored the Macedonia pursuit at about 1 a.m. Fifteen minutes later, officers with the Cuyahoga Heights Police Department located Avery at a Harvard Avenue gas station. Police said that when officers approached the vehicle, Avery drove off, striking a Cuyahoga Heights police cruiser. 

Cuyahoga Heights police pursued the vehicle, eventually surrounding it on a tree lawn on Harvard Avenue, just east of Interstate 77. Avery was taken into custody, and transported by EMS to Metro Health for treatment and evaluation. 

The front seat passenger and the passenger's three children were released at the scene. No injuries were reported.

Avery is charged with felonious assault, a first-degree felony, and failure to comply with an order of a police officer, a third-degree felony, according to Stow Municipal Court records.

Cuyahoga Heights Police Chief Brian Sturgill said the case is still under investigation and further charges from his department are pending.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@thebeaconjournal.com