Chesterton Tribune



120-mph pursuit on Ind. 49 ends in crash at 1100N; two charged

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Two South Bend residents were arrested Tuesday on multiple charges after the Porter County Sheriff’s Police said that they led an officer on a high-speed pursuit on Ind. 49 ending in an accident at 1100N.

According to police, at 6:38 p.m. Portage Police reported a shoplifting at the Walmart and advised that the suspect vehicle was a silver SUV with an “unreadable plate.” A PCSP officer subsequently observed a vehicle matching that description eastbound on U.S. Highway 6. The officer followed the vehicle as it exited U.S. 6 onto northbound Ind. 49, then activated his emergency lights and siren when the vehicle’s driver “quickly accelerat(ed) down the on-ramp,” police said.

A pursuit ensued, with the officer “traveling nearly 120 mph in a 55 mph zone” and “not gaining much on the suspect vehicle,” police said. At the intersection of Gateway Blvd. the suspect vehicle’s driver slowed slightly for a red light but swerved around the lines of traffic in the westbound turn lane and then continued through “at a high rate of speed,” police said.

In the approach to 1100N, the driver left the roadway and proceeded onto the east shoulder, “still maintaining a high rate of speed” and passing a number of vehicles, until he encountered another red light at 1100N, police said. There the driver was unable to avoid hitting a second vehicle westbound on 1100N, losing control and spinning out back onto Ind. 49 north of the intersection, police said.

Both of the suspect vehicle’s occupants fled on foot, in the direction of the Strack & Van Til, police said. In an effort to cut them off, the officer drove his squad car into the Strack parking lot, prompting one of the suspects to turn back to Ind. 49, where his path, however, was blocked by a trucker and another motorist who stopped their vehicles in front of him, police said.

At that point the suspect surrendered. He was identified as Matthew Frederick Straight, 31, police said.

Meanwhile, officers with the PCSP and the Chesterton, Porter, and Burns Harbor PDs assisted in the search for the second suspect. He was ultimately located hiding beneath some clothes in a clothing donation drop box in the southwest corner of the Strack parking lot, and identified as the driver, Justen Troy Anthony Burrows, 28., police said.

Inside the suspect vehicle were found a pair of 55-inch Samsung televisions reported stolen from the Valparaiso Walmart earlier in the day, police said. Portage PD, meanwhile, advised that Straight had been pushing a cart loaded with two additional TVs outside the entrance of the Portage Walmart when confronted by Loss Prevention personnel, police said. At that point he abandoned the merchandise and ran.

Also found in the suspect vehicle were “several drug-related items,” police said. While en route to the Porter County Jail, Burrows “freely spoke of his heroin problem and admitted using as early as today,” police said. Burrows further stated he “never knew today would go this way,” police said.

Burrows and Straight were both charged with possession of a narcotic, possession of a hypodermic, resisting law enforcement, possession of marijuana, and possession of paraphernalia. Burrows was additionally charged with leaving the scene of an accident and driving while suspended-prior.

Both were booked into the Porter County Jail.



Posted 4/18/2018





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