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Speeding motorcycle clocked at 131 mph Trooper describes 'just a blur' on I-86

Trooper Kevin Wozniak heard the roar of the motorcycle before he could even see it.

"The RPMs were screaming," Wozniak told The Buffalo News. "I thought: 'This guy has to really be moving or he's in the wrong gear.' "

Wozniak readied the radar on his patrol car, which, at about5:30 p.m. Wednesday, was in the median of Interstate 86 near Jamestown.

Then, the 2003 Suzuki zoomed by.

"He was just a blur," Wozniak said.

The Jamestown-based trooper looked down at the radar unit. It registered at 131 mph -- just over double the posted 65 mph speed limit.

"Holy cow!" Wozniak remembered saying. "It was like NASCAR. He was there and gone in a second, maybe a second-and-a-half."

The trooper put on his lights and headed after the motorcycle.

Wozniak didn't think he could catch up with the Suzuki and had no intention of trying.

"Honestly, it's not even worth putting your foot to the floor," he said. "I thought I would radio ahead" to another trooper farther along the road.

But the motorcyclist slowed down -- a bit.

"Probably in the 90s range," Wozniak said, which allowed the trooper to overtake him.

"I pulled up next to him and pointed him over," the trooper said.

The motorcyclist smiled and pulled over.

"How fast do you think you were going?" Wozniak asked the motorcyclist.

The motorcyclist responded that he saw he was going about 90 mph when he saw Wozniak in his rear view mirror.

James Johnson, 22, of Jamestown told the trooper the motorcycle was his uncle's.

He claimed he was speeding because a baby sitter was watching his children and he was running late. (He made clear that he wasn't going to put the youngsters on the motorcycle.)

Wozniak reported that Johnson also said he didn't have a motorcycle license.

After Johnson pulled his ID out of his shoe, Wozniak ran the driver's license and found that not only did Johnson not have a motorcycle license but his regular driver's license had been suspended and that he had numerous motorcycle-related tickets since the suspension.

Wozniak took Johnson into custody on charges of second-degree unlicensed operation of a vehicle and transported him to Poland Town Court, where he was arraigned and released after posting cash bail. He also was issued a speeding ticket.

With 16 years on the job, Wozniak said the speed recorded Wednesday was by far the fastest of his traffic stops. His previous highs were "a little over 110 mph, maybe," he said.

"I don't think he understands how dangerous it is," Wozniak said of Johnson.

Once he had pulled Johnson over, Wozniak pointed out a nearby bear crossing sign.

"There are black bears that cross the interstate there," he told the motorcyclist.

The mental image of crashing into a bear seemed to register with Johnson, Wozniak said.

In another indication of some inkling about safety, Johnson was wearing a helmet.

"I was glad to see that," Wozniak said.

email: mbecker@buffnews.com