A 22-year-old man revved up his motorcycle to more than 140 miles per hour just south of Rochester and explained to a sheriff's deputy during a contentious traffic stop that his need for speed was because of the heat, according to charges.
Noah A. Doherty of Pine Island, Minn., was charged in Olmsted County District Court with reckless driving, interference with a police officer and driving after his license was revoked in connection with the encounter on a toasty Tuesday afternoon.
Doherty was booked into jail that day, released in lieu of $6,000 bail and is due back in court on July 13. Reached by phone Thursday, Doherty said in a text message that he was trying to cool off and the officer, who had been sitting in a blind spot, was eager to rip him off the bike or "it wouldn't have gone down like it looks."
Under questioning by law enforcement, Doherty "claimed that he was going fast because it was hot," the charges against him read. The temperature in Rochester around that time was 95 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
Sheriff's Lt. Lee Rossman said Doherty was riding a 2007 Suzuki GSX-R1000, which the lieutenant described as a "crotch rocket-type motorcycle."
Doherty did not have on a helmet and instead was wearing a paintball mask for eye protection, Rossman said.
According to the criminal complaint and the Sheriff's Office:
A deputy on routine patrol saw the motorcyclist traveling "extremely fast" on Hwy. 63 just east of the Rochester International Airport and clocked him at 144 mph. But "out of a concern for public safety," the deputy chose not to pursue the motorcycle, the complaint read.
The deputy soon spotted the motorcyclist again about 61⁄2 miles to the north in Rochester and stopped him at S. Broadway Avenue and SE. 80th Street.
Doherty turned off the engine as the deputy ordered but soon started it again. As the deputy grabbed Doherty's arm, the motorcycle "lurched forward" and pressed the deputy against his squad car "as he tried to stop the rider from fleeing."
Doherty demanded to know why he was stopped and said he would not cooperate. Threatened with use of a stun gun, Doherty got off the motorcycle and was handcuffed.
Minnesota court records show that Doherty has been convicted four times in the past 13 months for driving after his license has been revoked. He's also been convicted twice for speeding and numerous times for lacking insurance and failing to have his vehicle registered.
Doherty's license to drive a car has been revoked since April 2021, said state Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Beckey Mechtel, who added that "he does not have a motorcycle [license] endorsement at this time, nor does it appear that he ever had."
Rossman said, "I always wonder why people who have lost their license always drive so crazy and then wonder why they get stopped. Doesn't make sense."