A woman with
multiple unsecured children her vehicle, traveling at speeds near 90 miles
per hour on Ind. 49, was the subject of a pursuit on Sunday which ended in
the parking lot of Fairhaven Baptist Church, Porter Police said.
police, at 6:20 p.m. an officer responding to a report of a reckless driver
observed a Cadillac northbound on Ind. 49 from the Indiana Toll Road
traveling at “an extremely high rate of speed.” The driver--later identified
as Shareece Minique Welch, 34, of Gary--disregarded a red light at the
intersection of East Porter Ave., “without slowing down and nearly
(striking) cross traffic,” then disregarded another red light at the
intersection of Indian Boundary Road, police said.
vehicle blew through the intersection (at Indian Boundary Road), nearly
striking several vehicles,” the investigating officer stated in his report.
“Due to the dangerous driving environment, I was not able to view my
vehicle’s speedometer but would estimate we were traveling at 90 miles per
“As we approached
I-94, I observed several children in the back seat who were clearly
unsecured,” the officer further stated. “They kept looking back at my
vehicle while shaking their heads. It appeared to me as though the children
were in fear of their safety.”
turned left onto westbound Oak Hill Road and then into the property of
Fairhaven Baptist Church, where she exited her vehicle, “ran up to the doors
of the church, and atempted to gain access.” The children, for their part,
followed their mother out of the vehicle, “screaming and crying.”
“A quick look
inside the vehicle determined none of the children had been in proper
restraints or seats,” the officer added.
police that “she realized running from the police was wrong and she
apologized,” the officer stated. “She went on to say that she just wanted to
feed her children at the church.”
Welch was arrested
on charges of resisting law enforcement, two counts; and neglect of a
dependent, five counts.
transported to Porter County Jail, Welch advised that, just prior to the
pursuit, she was “lost and following ‘them’ around,” the officer stated. “I
asked who ‘they’ were and she stated a ‘white car.’ She went on to say that
she was lost after an incident in Gary earlier in the evening and that while
driving around she saw a white car which she believed to be God. She stated
she followed the white car around because she thought God was telling her
where to go. I asked why she was driving so erratically prior the pursuit
and she stated that everyone was chasing her. She stated that ‘many a car’
was trying to run her off the road and trying to hit her vehicle.”
The children were
taken into custody by Child Protective Services and arrangements made to
release them to a relative, police said.