Ben Russell, NBC 5 News
William Pfohl bragged he was going well over 175 mph as he led police on a 45-minute, 70-mile chase through seven North Texas cities early Tuesday morning.
A 70-mile motorcycle chase through Dallas and Arlington hit speeds of nearly 200 mph, according to the boastful rider as he was placed into the back of a police car.
At about 12:15 a.m. Tuesday, troopers with the Texas Department of Public Safety spotted a speeding motorcycle in the northbound lanes of the Dallas North Tollway. A trooper attempted to stop the motorcycle but the driver took off at even higher speeds.
DPS identified the driver, who was eventually stopped and arrested, as 27-year-old William Pfohl, of Dallas.
While being escorted by police to the backseat of a police car, Pfohl told NBC 5 photographers he hit speeds of 189 mph and drove at a rate of 160 mph in a construction zone on Interstate 635.
The Dallas County Sheriff's Office released dashboard camera of the pursuit recorded on a deputy's squad car.
The video shows the deputy racing along several North Texas highways, with the motorcycle only coming into view after the rider exited near Bowden Road along Interstate 20 in Arlington and then re-entered the highway. It also shows pursuing officers pulling up to the rider after his motorcycle ran out of gas and a deputy tackling the man and his bike to the ground.
While bragging about his speed, Pfohl also criticized officers for putting the lives of other drivers in danger by following him.
"On-hundred-eighty-nine when we were in the straights -- this dude [motions toward a state trooper] was keeping up with me, like, on the toll road, [Interstate] 635, like 160, 70. You kept up with me easily, 160, 70. Isn't there some kind of law about public safety?" Pfohl said to both NBC 5's cameras and the state trooper placing him into the back of a police car.
For context, NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson won this year's Daytona 500 with an average speed of 159 mph.
"The troopers have to make a difficult judgment call in situations like this," DPS spokesman Sgt. Lonny Haschel said. "In this case, the motorcyclist was not only endangering his own life, but that of the motoring public and law enforcement, as well."
Pfohl's motorcycle is a Suzuki GSXR 1000. The 189-mph speeds Pfohl said he reached is roughly the bike's peak speed, according to Mark Peterson of Southwest Superbikes, a pre-owned motorcycle shop in Dallas.
"If you want to go fast, this is the bike to have," he said.
Peterson said the GSXR 1000 is a popular model with people who prefer sport bikes.
"But the thing is, they're not meant to [go that fast] on public streets," he said. "I mean, there's just too much that can happen. You know, he went to jail, but it could have been a lot worse than that."
During the chase, Pfohl traveled north on the DNT, then turned east on the President George Bush Turnpike. He then drove to U.S. 75/Central Expressway and turned south. When he reached Interstate 635, he turned westbound on that freeway until he reached Interstate 35E. He then went south on I-35E into Downtown Dallas and headed west on Interstate 30.
By then, Dallas County sheriff's deputies and the Dallas Police Department's Air-1 helicopter joined the pursuit. The chase was so fast that, at times, the police helicopter had a hard time keeping up with the rider.
The chase continued westbound on I-30 to state Highway 161, where he turned south and went to Interstate 20. He traveled west on I-20, exited at Bowen Road and doubled back a short distance. Pfohl then got back on westbound I-20. Just before reaching U.S. 287, the motorcycle ran out of gas, and Dallas County sheriff's deputies took him into custody.
Pfohl said he had just filled up with gasoline but blew through the entire tank during the chase, which covered more than 70 miles.
A law enforcement official said Pfohl will face a felony charge of evading arrest with a motor vehicle. He is currently being held on $25,000 bond.
NBC DFW's Ben Russell contributed to this report.