A Beatrice man is in custody after police said he led them on a pursuit that began in Beatrice and ended nearly 30 miles east in Johnson County early Wednesday morning.

Armando H. Lerma, 37, of Beatrice, was arrested after the pursuit on charges of flight to avoid arrest, reckless driving, fictitious plates, speeding and traffic signal violations.

At around 3:10 a.m. on Wednesday, Beatrice Police received a report of a suspicious man in dark clothing on a dark-colored motorcycle, stopped in the middle of the street near Cedar Elementary School.

An officer was dispatched to the scene, said Beatrice Police Captain Gerald Lamkin. The motorcycle passed the officer along W. Court Street.

"The individual turned around on the motorcycle, he immediately accelerated and the chase was on,” Lamkin said.

As the motorcycle led the chase through town, Lamkin said the officer recorded that the motorcyclist's speed was 75 miles per hour, as he ran through stoplights. The chase followed down Highway 136 into Johnson County.

The Beatrice Police officer was assisted in the pursuit by deputies from Gage and Johnson counties, Lamkin said.

The motorcyclist stopped on Highway 136 at 613 Avenue near the small town of Vesta. He was taken into custody by Gage County Sheriff’s deputies and taken back to the Beatrice Police Department.

“He was interviewed, he asked him why he ran, he said he didn't know,” Lamkin said. “He said it was dumb, he should have just pulled over. Because I don't believe he's motorcycle qualified.”

Lerma was arrested on five counts, including fictitious plates. The plates used were registered to him, but were registered for a different motorcycle.

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