A pair of 29-year-old motorcycle riders from Homestead twice zoomed away from Monroe sheriff’s deputies before one wound up in jail and the other airlifted to a hospital Sunday, authorities say.
When a Keys deputy found the two at Mile Marker 89, Adriana Romero and her motorcycle were on the ground. Romero, with an aching back, was airlifted to a hospital in Miami-Dade while Steven Walker walked into Monroe County jail on one count of fleeing or eluding police with wanton disregard for the safety of people or property.
The sheriff’s office says the two illegally passed other vehicles while blowing north around Mile Marker 81 at about 2 a.m. A deputy pursued them with lights and sirens going, but he said Walker and Romero wouldn’t stop.
That deputy dropped the chase for safety concerns, but another picked up the pursuit near Mile Marker 88, also with the sights and sounds of cops in pursuit. The motorcycling pair didn’t stop for him, either.
But the second deputy, Addison LaPradd, is the one who found them after Romero’s apparent crash. Walker claimed he and Romero had been in Key West until 1 a.m. looking at motorcycles for his business.
“When asked why he didn’t stop, Walker said he didn’t know deputies were trying to stop them,” Monroe sheriff’s spokesman Adam Linhardt said in a statement.
That claim of ignorance isn’t supported by Walker’s record.
He paid $468.50 after getting caught doing 74 mph in a 45 mph zone in Broward County. Walker was also fined $345.75 on a reckless driving citation in Palm Beach County.
More recent than those 2008 violations were his 2013 probation for habitually driving with a license suspended, a violation for which he was arrested but not prosecuted in 2010 and 2011. Also, Walker’s past includes convictions for grand theft, petit theft and burglary.