Chesterton Tribune



PCSP: High-speed pursuit on Oakhill and US 20 leads to charges

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A Gary resident was arrested Monday on charges of resisting law enforcement and reckless driving--and issued a citation for 17 separate traffic violations--after leading a patrol officer on a high-speed pursuit on East Oakhill Road and U.S. Highway 20 before crashing near the Travel America truck stop in Porter, the Porter County Sheriff’s Police said.

According to police, at 2:54 p.m. an officer on patrol in the northbound lanes of Ind. 49 observed the driver of a green/silver Ford Taurus make two lane changes without signaling, before stopping for a red light in the left-turn lane at the intersection of East Oakhill Road. The officer exited his squad car and approached the Taurus on foot but before he was able to make contact with the driver the light turned green and the Taurus “quickly accelerated,” turning left onto westbound East Oakhill Road, police said.

The officer gave chase, reaching speeds of 70 miles per hour in a zone posted 30 mph, police said. In the area of Morningside Drive, the Taurus’ driver passed another vehicle in a no-passing lane, failed to signal the lane change, and then disregarded the stop sign at the intersection of Waverly Road, continuing through it instead, police, said. The driver then disregarded the stop sign at the intersection of U.S. 20 and turned left without signaling, nearly colliding with another vehicle eastbound on U.S. 20, police said.

By this point the officer had reached a speed of 100 mph, yet the Taurus’ driver was beginning to pull away from him, continuing to change lanes without signaling and pass other vehicles in the eastbound lanes, police said. Just east of the Travel America, the driver failed to negotiate a curve, drove over a raised concrete median, went airborne, and on hitting pavement again began to fishtail, at which point the Taurus left the north side of the roadway, flipped several times, and came to rest on its roof in a ditch, police said.

The driver, identified as Mark A. Freeman Jr., 30, and his passenger, a 23-year-old woman who advised police that Freeman was her boyfriend, were able to exit the vehicle under their own power. Both were treated at the scene by Porter Regional Hospital EMS and the Porter Fire Department, police said.

Freeman “bragged that he would have gotten away if his brakes weren’t bad,” then “clamed that he was simply attempting to get out of (the officer’s) way as it appeared (the officer) was headed to an emergency,” and referred to the officer as a “persistent (expletive),” expressing surprise that the officer hadn’t just given up the chase, police said.

In addition to the citation for the 17 traffic violations, Freeman was charged with resisting law enforcement, reckless driving resulting in bodily injury, and operating without ever obtaining a driver’s license. Police said that he was also wanted on a warrant issued through Cook County, Ill., and charging him with a “dangerous drugs” offense.

Freeman was treated at the scene and then transported to Porter County Jail. His girlfriend was released at the scene.



Posted 7/25/2017




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