A Union Township motorist accused of striking and killing a jogger while
driving with marijuana in his system could be returned to jail pending
trial, after the Porter County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said that he
was found to have synthetic marijuana in his system while out on bond.
Joseph R. Ruwaldt, 20, of 3222W 100N, is scheduled to appear at a bond
hearing on Friday, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Andrew Bennett told the
Ruwaldt recently “tested positive for synthetic marijuana,” Bennett said, in
violation of the terms of his bond.
Ruwaldt is charged with operating while intoxicated-causing death, operating
with a controlled substance or its metabolite in his system, and reckless
homicide, in connection with the death last summer of Garry Bradley.
All charges are Class C felonies punishable by a term of two to eight years.
According to the Porter County Sheriff’s Police, at 7:38 a.m. July 31,
Ruwaldt was eastbound on C.R. 100N when he left the roadway in the area of
C.R. 350W and struck Bradley, who was running eastbound on the north edge of
Bradley “was thrown up onto the hood” of Ruwaldt’s truck, “carried for a
distance and then fell to the ground,” police said. He was later pronounced
dead at the scene.
Ruwaldt—who advised that he’d “dozed off”—admitted having smoked marijuana
the previous day and told investigators that he’d stayed up to 2 a.m. that
morning before waking at 7 a.m., police said.
The stretch of C.R. 100N on which Ruwaldt had been traveling is posted at 35
miles per hour but a reconstruction of the accident indicates that Ruwaldt
was driving at approximately 52 mph when he struck Bradley, police said.
Ruwaldt subsequently tested positive for marijuana in his blood, at 8.82 ng/ml,
While still being held at the Porter County Jail, in November, Ruwaldt
joined eight other inmates—including Amanda Bach’s accused killer, Dustin
McCowin—in filing a complaint in federal court alleging “cruel and unusual
punishment” on the part of jail staff. That complaint specifically alleges
that they had been denied visitation privileges as well as access to the law
library and outgoing mail.