Chesterton Tribune



PCSP: NPS rangers battered at crash scene

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Two Chicago residents were arrested Saturday on multiple charges following a disturbance at a crash scene in Westchester Township, the Porter County Sheriff’s Police said.

According to police, at 4:07 p.m. officers were dispatched to the intersection of U.S. Highway 12 and Tremont Road, where Nestor Melquides, 22, had unsuccessfully attempted a U-turn and collided with a second vehicle. An officer had just finished issuing Melquides a citation for operating without ever obtaining a driver’s license when he heard Melquides “yelling and arguing” with the tow driver and two National Park Service rangers who had also responded to the scene, police said. Melquides was warned to stop or be arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct, and when he did not do so the officer handcuffed him and placed him in a squad car, police said.

At this point Melquides’ passenger, Maricruz Perez-Cortez, 22, “charged” officers and then resisted “in such a violent manner” a request was made for a jail van to transport her, police said. Even when leg-shackled, Perez-Cortez “continued to knee and kick officers” and attempted to “bite” them as well, prompting the officer to Tase her after warning her to desist, police said.

One NPS ranger ultimately “was kneed and kicked in” the lower leg, while the other was bitten in the lower leg and sustained “scratches and abrasions” to the hand, police said.

Then, while being transported to Porter County Jail, Perez-Cortez threatened one of the rangers and his family “with bodily harm” and also threatened “to have his children kidnapped,” police said.

Perez-Cortez was charged with battery, resisting law enforcement, disorderly conduct, and intimidation, police said.

One of the NPS rangers subsequently received treatment for his injuries at Porter Regional Hospital, police added.




Posted 7/30/2019




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