Chesterton Tribune

Burns Habor PD: Westville man again flees officers in high speed pursuit

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For the second time in a month a Westville resident has led officers on a high-speed pursuit, Burns Harbor Police said.

Ralph Edward Labarr, 50, has been charged with three counts of resisting law enforcement; four of criminal mischief; four of criminal trespass; intimidation/threats; criminal recklessness; reckless driving; and driving while suspended-prior.

According to police, at 5:33 a.m. Saturday an officer on patrol observed Labarr southbound on Ind. 149 from eastbound U.S. Highway 20 and recognized him as the same person he arrested on Jan. 31 and then again on March 18 on a charge of DWS.

On March 18, police said, Labarr fled from officers at speeds of between 65 and 85 miles per hour before being taken into custody at the intersection of 1050N and Meridian Road.

On Saturday, police said, Labarr once again fled after the officer attempted to stop him at the intersection of 1050N. Instead Labarr turned left onto eastbound C.R. 1000N, disregarded a stop sign at the intersection of C.R. 200W, turned right, and continuing at a speed of 50 mph—in a zone posted at 30 mph—disregarded a lighted traffic signal at the intersection of U.S. Highway 6, police said.

Eastbound on U.S. 6, Labarr made a “sudden turn” into the Arbor View Animal Hospital, “drove through the west lawn between trees and took evasive moves to avoid crashing into Porter County Sheriff’s officers’ vehicles,” then regained U.S. 6 and reached speeds in excess of 80 mph, police said. The pursuit finally ended when Labarr drove into the backyard of a home in the 40 block of C.R. 700N, through a wooded area, and into the front yard of a home in the 700 north block of C.R. 50W, where officers managed to box in his vehicle, police said.

Labarr then fled on foot into a wooded area, where the BHPD officer tackled him, police said. But Labarr’s hands were clasped under his body and Labarr refused orders to release his hands and the officer—fearing that Labarr might be in possession of a weapon—struck Labarr twice in the side of a head with a closed fist, police said.

Labarr was then taken into custody.

Labarr “stated that I had ‘no reason’ to stop him,” the BHPD officer said in his report, “and while escorting him out of the woods to be searched he stated he would be looking to find me . . . while I was off duty without ‘gun and badge’ so he could see ‘how tough’ I am.”

Labarr also revealed knowledge of the BHPD officer’s personal life, including the name of a female acquaintance and the kind of car he drives, police said.

In addition, Labarr stated that “he would drive through Burns Harbor once released from jail” and “would hire a lawyer that ‘likes to sue cops,’” police said

Labarr—who was issued four citations for speeding, three for disregarding a stop sign, and one for disregarding a lighted traffic signal—was medically cleared at Porter hospital and then transported to Porter County Jail.


Posted 5/21/2012