A 24-year-old Ocala man is facing several felony charges after he was allegedly caught riding a stolen motorcycle while in possession of methamphetamine.
On Monday, a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to the 9100 block of S U.S. Highway 441 in Ocala in reference to assisting a lieutenant with a traffic stop of a motorcycle. Upon arrival, a man identified as Nathan Guy Wetherington was already in custody, according to the MCSO report.
According to the report, the lieutenant was on routine patrol in an unmarked patrol car when a black motorcycle was observed at the intersection of SE 80th Street and S U.S. Highway 441. The motorcycle was stopped at a red light, and there was no license plate attached to it.
When the traffic light turned green, the motorcycle rapidly accelerated, and the front wheel lifted off the ground for approximately 100 to 150 yards as Wetherington performed a “wheelie.” The motorcycle then proceeded to travel southbound at estimated speeds of 100 to 120 miles per hour in a posted 55-mph zone, according to the report.
The lieutenant traveled southbound behind the motorcycle and watched as it pulled onto a dirt driveway in the 9100 block of S Highway 441, and the vehicle came to a stop next to a bench and chain link fence. The report stated that Wetherington then revved the motorcycle’s engine, disengaged the clutch, and drove into the side of the lieutenant’s patrol car.
The lieutenant partially opened the driver’s side door and yelled, “Sheriff’s Office, get on the ground.” The report stated that Wetherington’s body was directly next to the door, which prevented it from fully opening, and Wetherington ignored commands to get onto the ground.
Wetherington then unsuccessfully attempted to roll the motorcycle in reverse with his feet, and the lieutenant was able to exit the patrol car. According to the report, Wetherington refused to put his hands behind his back, and the lieutenant grabbed his left arm and detained him in handcuffs.
The MCSO deputy took Wetherington into custody at the scene of the traffic stop. During a pat-down search of Wetherington, the deputy located a clear plastic bag containing a white powdery substance that field-tested positive for methamphetamine, according to the report.
The deputy noted in the report that Wetherington also had a backpack in his possession, which contained two clear plastic bags filled with a white powder that field-tested positive for methamphetamine. Next to those bags was a pipe that contained a white residue, which also field-tested positive for methamphetamine.
A computer search of the motorcycle revealed that it was reported stolen out of Citrus County. The report stated that it was originally blue and had recently been spray-painted black.
After being read his Miranda rights, Wetherington stated that the lieutenant had stopped him because he was “doing a wheelie.” He claimed that he was not trying to flee from the lieutenant, and he stated, “I know everyone says it, but I was scared,” according to the report.
During the post-Miranda interview, Wetherington denied resisting the lieutenant and claimed that he was “only trying to get his leg off of the exhaust.” He admitted that the methamphetamine belonged to him, and he stated that he was unaware that the motorcycle was reported stolen. He claimed that he had traded his old Harley Davidson for the motorcycle two weeks earlier on Facebook Marketplace.
Wetherington was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he is currently being held on $10,000 bond. He is facing felony charges for possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, fleeing to elude a law enforcement officer, and grand theft of a motor vehicle.
In addition, Wetherington is facing misdemeanor charges for possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting an officer without violence.
A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.