December 18, 2014

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Mentor man receives warning for towing ATV on I-480

A Mentor man received a warning after police pulled him over on Interstate 480 as he towed an all-terrrain vehicle using a Chevrolet Cavalier and what appeared to be clothesline. COURTESY NORTH RIDGEVILLE POLICE

A Mentor man received a warning after police pulled him over on Interstate 480 as he towed an all-terrrain vehicle using a Chevrolet Cavalier and what appeared to be clothesline. COURTESY NORTH RIDGEVILLE POLICE

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — A Mentor man dodged a bullet of sorts this past weekend when he received a warning instead of a ticket after police spotted the man towing an ATV behind his car that was attached with a flimsy piece of clothesline.

“I don’t know how this guy thought he was going to make it back to Mentor without being stopped,” North Ridgeville police Capt. Marti Garrow said.

The man was towing the ATV along Interstate 480 from Wellington where he had just purchased the red-and-black all-terrain vehicle from a local seller.

The ATV was attached to the unlocked trunk of the Mentor resident’s Chevy Cavalier with a yellow cord and a length of rope like clothesline, Garrow said.

“You see vehicles being towed by other cars, but you don’t see this too often,” Garrow said, noting the ATV was “bouncing and weaving back and forth behind the car” at speeds of 55 to 60 mph. “Clothesline rope is not real strong.”

Patrolman Jim Larkin, who spotted the potential hazard, pulled the Mentor man over in the eastbound lanes near the Lear-Nagle Road overpass on Interstate 480.

“Those vehicles aren’t meant to travel at that kind of speed,” Garrow said. “It was certainly not secured.”

The ATV could have become a careening missile had it broken free from the car and moved into other lanes of traffic at high speeds, police said.

Larkin opted to let the Mentor driver off with a warning instead of citing him.

“The officer called for a tow truck, which the guy agreed to pay for, and the ATV got home that way,” Garrow said.

While he didn’t have figures regarding the cost of the 65- to 70-mile tow, Garrow figures it was perhaps as much as a couple hundred dollars.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.