Cleveland-area man detained after shooting, car chase

BELLAIRE – An incident that began as what Bellaire Police Chief Mike Kovalyk believes is a drug-related drive-by shooting resulted in a multi-state car chase ending in the Elm Grove section of Wheeling early Wednesday.

Bellaire police were dispatched to the 4300 block of Franklin Street at approximately 1:39 a.m. after dispatch received numerous calls related to shots being fired.

On the scene, officers came upon a Pontiac Grand Prix with bullet holes in both the driver’s side front and rear doors of the vehicle.

Statements were taken and officers were told of a light-colored vehicle leaving the scene of the shooting. A BOLO (be on the lookout) was placed out to all surrounding law enforcement agencies.

Officers with the Bridgeport Police Department, enroute to Bellaire, observed the vehicle in question traveling north on Ohio 7 at a high-rate of speed.

The vehicle ran a stop sign after the driver apparently spotted the Bridgeport cruiser. The cruiser engaged the vehicle, and a high-speed chase began and traveled across the Interstate 470 Bridge into West Virginia, reaching speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour.

The suspect vehicle took the Elm Grove exit off Interstate 70 and crashed, with three subjects fleeing the vehicle, according to the report.

Officer Phil Redford of the Wheeling Police Department noted that the driver, identified as Clarence Bertram, 21, from the Cleveland area, was apprehended and taken into custody. Officers attempted to track down the two other passengers but were unsuccessful.

The Bellaire Police Department noted that nearly a dozen shell casings from two different semi-automatic handguns were retrieved from the Franklin Street scene.

Redford noted that Bertram is being held on a fugitive from justice warrant from Ohio and is facing multiple charges, including fleeing, obstruction and resisting arrest.

It is believed he is out on parole, according to authorities.