Chesterton Tribune



PCSP: Man with baby flees in stolen squad cars and enters Jackson Township home

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A Benton Harbor, Mich., man was arrested on multiple charges on Wednesday after the Porter County Sheriff’s Police said that he fled a traffic stop in a stolen squad car--accompanied by his infant son--before then invading a Jackson Township home.

Stacey Groves, 26, was charged with residential entry, auto theft, resisting law enforcement, child endangerment, criminal mischief, and leaving the scene of an accident, police said.

According to police, at 12 p.m. Groves was stopped by a Hobart Police officer, assisted by an Indiana State trooper, in the westbound lanes of the Indiana Toll Road, at approximately the 39 mile marker near the Porter/LaPorte county line.

In the course of the traffic stop, the HPD officer requested Groves--holding his 7-month-old son--to sit in the front passenger’s seat of the officer’s unmarked Dodge Charger squad car. Groves did so, then asked the HPD officer to retrieve his son’s pacifier from his own vehicle, police said. As the HPD officer was looking for the pacifier, Groves stole the officer’s squad car, police said.

Groves, “swerving through and around traffic on the shoulder,” fled the scene westbound, followed by the ISP trooper, who, however, quickly lost sight of the Dodge Charger, police said.

In Jackson Township, Groves is believed to have made his own exit off the Toll Road, by driving down a berm, then through a cattle fence, and from there heading eastbound on C.R. 1000N, police said. Groves’ next move was to leave the squad car in the roadway on C.R. 475E, just south of C.R. 1050N, where he “forced his way” into a nearby house and asked the homeowner for help, police said.

At some point the homeowner managed to call 911--as did a neighbor who’d noticed the Dodge Charger left in the roadway--and as responding PCSP officers entered the residence, Groves, having left his son in the house, “jumped out” of a second-story window, then stole a fully marked squad car from one of the officers, police said.

Groves didn’t get far, driving the squad car 400 yards through a wooded area adjacent to the house, then leaving it to flee on foot, police said. It was after Groves had made it into an open field, in the area of C.R. 1050N and Greening Road, that the LCSP’s Eagle 1 helicopter, called to assist in the manhunt, spotted him, police said. Eagle 1 began circling Groves and descending, until the helicopter’s co-pilot was able to make a safe exit and take Groves into custody, police said.

The infant, unharmed, was released to his mother, and at mid-afternoon on Wednesday, PCSP Sgt. Jamie Erow told the Chesterton Tribune, all squad cars and personnel were accounted for.

Erow did say that the incident prompted the PCSP to call a lockdown at both Jackson and Liberty Elementary schools.


Posted 2/16/2017




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