OCALA – A 2016 Harley-Davidson motorcycle stolen March 12 after its owner had to “put the cycle down” to avoid a collision has been found and a man has been arrested in the case.
Alton Manley was traveling west March 12 in the 3800 block of Southwest College Road when he was cut off and laid down the bike. He was helped by bystanders and the Harley was pushed into the median. When a family member came to get the motorcycle about 20 minutes later, it was gone.
Manley was later released from the hospital. In the meantime, OPD put out an alert about the stolen motorcycle.
On Sunday, Amado Burgos got to a tip about a motorcycle in the woods near the 3800 block of Southwest College Road and followed a trail to a tent, where a Harley with no tag was parked nearby. A check of the VIN revealed it was Manley’s bike.
According to OPD officials, Joseph Biernacki and a woman were evidently living in the tent. Public Information Officer Meghan Shay said Biernacki confessed to Detective Joshua Fried that he took the motorcycle and said it was the “way out of Florida” for the two of them.
Burgos stated in his report that Biernacki had been driving the bike around “for five days and found it weird he hadn’t been pulled over, even when he drove by them on a stolen motorcycle.” Biernacki “thought the motorcycle was already stolen and that is why the original driver left it after he crashed it.” He said he left the tag on the ground where the motorcycle was located.
Biernacki has been charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle. OPD officials also found that he was wanted on a warrant for grand theft out of New Jersey. He was arrested and taken to the Marion County Jail.
– Andy Fillmore