VIDEO: Akron man flees from police in girlfriend's car, records chase with her phone

Posted at 12:02 PM, Jun 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-28 17:25:01-04

An Akron man is facing several criminal and traffic charges for leading police on a chase in his girlfriend's car while recording the pursuit on her cell phone.

The woman called police around 2 a.m. Tuesday to report that she had gotten in an argument with 27-year-old Jessie Smith. She told officers that when she got out of her car during the argument, and took off in the vehicle with her cell phone. 

Responding officers were speaking with the victim in the area of Sunset and Clinton avenues when Smith drove past in the stolen car.

Police chased Smith for seven minutes on and off Route 8. During the chase, police said the man was recording himself fleeing from the cops on his girlfriend's cell phone.

Speeds reached as high as 80 mph on the freeway, authorities said. 

At one point, he ran a red light and nearly struck an ambulance, according to Captain Dan Zampelli

He eventually stopped at a dead end at Euclid Avenue and Fern Street, where he was arrested.

Police confiscated the cell phone and downloaded the video with the girlfriend's consent. Smith can be heard making statements about going to jail and that he's been doing stuff like this since he was 13 or 14.

"Called the last ride, baby," Smith said during the pursuit. "I'm about to go down for ten or better, five or better at least."

The nerve of recording the chase and putting other at risk struck a nerve with many officers, who couldn't recall a case like this one.

"His whole attitude was, 'Man, I'm going down for 10 years so I'm gonna celebrate. This is my night. I'm gonna go down big,'" said Captain Dan Zampelli. "To him, it was a big game."

Smith is facing charges related to a parole violation for weapons charges out of California as well as violation of a protection order out of Summit County. 

He's charged with felony willful fleeing and obstructing officials business in connection to the chase. He is also facing several traffic charges.