Chesterton Tribune



Man escaped from Portage police custody not yet found

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Michael Maldonado


UPDATE: The stolen vehicle from Pratt Industries believed to be connected to Portage Police's Escapee yesterday,  was located in South Haven Monday afternoon (March 26) at 3:37pm by Porter County Sheriff's Officers. Valparaiso Police Department was contacted and handled the recovery of the vehicle stolen from their jurisdiction.


Monday morning at approximately 11:15 a.m. Porter County Officers were dispatched to assist the Portage Police Department with locating a male subject who jumped out of a police vehicle and fled on foot while in transport to the Porter County Jail.

The suspect was identified as Michael Maldonado, a 25 year-old male. Maldonado is described as five feet, 10 inches tall, weighing 165 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen running south away from the Porter County Jail wearing a black T-Shirt and sweatpants, handcuffed, and wearing no shoes.

Video Surveillance from the Porter County Jail Sally Port, a garage between the outside and the actual jail, shows two Portage Police Officers pulling into the Sally Port. As the officers exit their vehicles to secure their weapons before removing the in-custodies from their vehicles, movement can be seen inside one of the squad cars. It is believed Maldonado jumped from the passenger seat to the driver’s seat of the squad car he was in and opened the driver’s side door before fleeing out under the garage door of the Sally Port as it was closing.

According to Portage Police, Maldonado was initially taken into custody on charges of resisting law enforcement, resisting law enforcement with injury and possession of a hypodermic needle following a traffic stop in Portage. Officers with Porter County, Lake County Helicopter unit, Valparaiso PD, and Portage PD flooded the area of Pratt Industries, near PCJ, searching for Maldonado on foot and by vehicle with negative results after approximately 2 hours.

At approximately 1:40 p.m. Valparaiso Police Department received a call from an employee with Pratt Industries reporting his grey 2013 Ford Focus as stolen from the parking lot.

The vehicle stolen had Michigan plates, DFT1996. Officers were checking with Pratt for surveillance video. The two incidents are believed to be connected.

Porter County Sheriff’s Office is assisting with this search.

Maldonado was in Portage Police custody at the time of the incident.

Valparaiso Police are investigating the stolen vehicle from their jurisdiction.

If anyone has any information on the whereabouts of Maldonado or the stolen vehicle, they should call the Portage Police at (219) 762-3122.

Dial 911 if it is a true emergency.


Posted 3/27/2018




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