A 16-year-old boy
was being detained today on multiple charges after authorities said that he
stole two vehicles on Wednesday--and crashed them both in police
pursuits--before being taken into custody.
According to the
Porter County Sheriff’s Police, at 6:15 p.m. Lt. Jason Praschak was
patrolling in the area of U.S. Highway 6 and C.R. 75W in Liberty Township
when he observed a red Dodge van with a stolen license plate. Praschak
activated his emergency lights and attempted to perform a traffic stop on
the van but the driver--later identified as a 16-year-old boy from the
Valparaiso area--failed to stop and a pursuit ensued, the PCSP said.
During the course
of the pursuit the boy “turned off his headlights in an attempt to further
evade the officer” and subsequently crashed the van in the area of C.R. 200W
and C.R. 875N, the PCSP said. The boy’s passenger--a juvenile girl--escaped
injury in the crash and was later released to her parents but the boy fled
on foot, the PCSP said.
A K-9 unit was
dispatched to the scene and a track was begun of the suspect. In the
meantime, however, at 9:02 p.m., a resident of the 100 west block of C.R.
850N reported that his black Chrysler 300 had just been stolen, the PCSP
Less than an hour
later, at 9:50 p.m., Valparaiso Police Officer Chris Allison was patrolling
Campbell Street when he located the stolen Chrysler 300. Allison and other
officers subsequently attempted to perform a traffic stop on the car in the
area of Glendale Blvd. and Valparaiso Street but the driver--the Chrysler’s
only occupant and later confirmed to be the boy in the earlier pursuit--fled
and another pursuit ensued, police said.
the Chrysler southbound on Valparaiso Street, northbound on Calumet Ave.,
eastbound on Vale Park Road, and finally southbound on Silhavy Road, where
in the area of Boilermaker Drive the boy crashed into a utility pole, police
The boy was taken
into custody, treated at Porter Regional Hospital, then transported to the
Juvenile Detention Center, where he was being held on delinquency charges of
resisting law enforcement, auto theft, theft, and operating a vehicle
without ever obtaining a driver’s license.
The boy also proved
to be wanted on a warrant issued through the State of Florida and charging
him with grand theft auto, the PCSP noted.
No one else was
injured in either crash but the VPD did note that damage to the utility pole
caused a brief power outage.