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Reckless Motorcyclist Posts “Chase” Video on YouTube, Gets Sentence of 4 Years, Faces Deportation to Algeria

Fri June 13 2014 7:14 pm
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Video by motorcyclist that helped convict him for fleeing and eluding police.

Hamza Ali Ben Ali, of Westmont, was sentenced to four years in prison Friday after he was convicted of fleeing police on his motorcycle. DuPage County Judge George Bakalis found Hamza Ali Ben Ali, 31, guilty last month of aggravated fleeing and eluding a police officer and a misdemeanor charge of driving with a suspended license.

Prosecutors claimed that Hamza Ali Ben Ali, age 31, ignored police orders to pull over in October 2012, and was able to elude police in a chase that reached speeds of up to 115 mph. Police were called when Ali and another motorcyclist were witnessed speeding north on Cass Avenue in Westmont about 1 p.m. on Oct. 21, 2012. In the video, a police car driven by Westmont police officer Scott Teeter is initially seen pulling out of a strip mall and carefully following the motorcycle. The police car then pulls up slowly behind the motorcycle in a gas station with emergency lights activated. Then the motorcycle suddenly flees from the gas station property. The video, which lasts about 7 minutes, never shows any police vehicle in any type of aggressive chase, but the video shows the motorcycle was going at excessive speeds, and was being driven recklessly.

Ali’s posted video was from a camera was aimed off the rear of the motorcycle, which intermittently showed the police behind Ali’s motorcycle. The video also showed the motorcycle being driven between vehicles in adjacent lanes. After the encounter with the police, Ali posted the video on YouTube, which was discovered about two weeks later by police.

Westmont Sgt. Steven Thompson said he analyzed the video and determined it took the motorcyclist 45 seconds (.0125 hour) to drive the .91 miles on Cass Avenue from 63rd Street to Holly Avenue, which he calculated to determine the motorcycle was traveling an average of 72.8 mph during that stretch of road. The speed limit on Cass Avenue is 40 mph.

Also, a Plainfield police officer Martin Van Heejswik testified that on November 5, 2012, Ali approached him at an intersection riding the same motorcycle. The Plainfield police officer said he leaned toward his window, said “bye-bye,” turned on the rear-mounted camera, and fled.

DuPage County Judge George Bakalis admonished Ali for putting the life of others in jeopardy.

Ali was already serving a three-year sentence for an assault charge in Cook County. Ali was wearing a GPS device on his ankle ordered to be worn by him by immigration authorities because of the assault case. The Westmont police tracked him down via the GPS device, which updates every three minutes. Prosecutors presented evidence that matched the GPS data with the video location information presented on the video, and with video from the police squad car that Teeter was driving.

Ali currently faces a total of seven years in prison. He must serve half of that sentence in prison, and has already served 575 days incarcerated since his arrest. He also faces possibly deportation to Algeria.

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