Chesterton Tribune



Portage Police officer fatally shoots man after traffic stop

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A Portage man was fatally shot by a Portage Police Officer early Saturday morning, following a traffic stop on Royal Ave.

The officer-involved shooting is being investigated by the Porter County Sheriff’s Police, which identified the deceased as William Darnell Spates, 39.

According to the PCSP, at 1:47 a.m. Portage Police Officer Grant Crizer performed a traffic stop on Spates in the 5200 block of Royal Ave. The PCSP did not state the reason for the traffic stop, but did say that Spates pulled into a residential driveway.

“At some point the suspect put his vehicle into reverse and accelerated rapidly into the officer’s fully marked squad car, striking it,” the PCSP said. “Witnesses initially reported hearing the officer yelling commands to the driver, and an engine revving, followed by six to seven shots fired.”

The incident history of the event, as recorded by Porter County Central Communications, indicates this, the PCSP said: that Crizer reported shots fired and the need for an additional unit at the scene; that Crizer “informed dispatch that his vehicle was struck and the subject tried to run him over”; and that EMS needed to “step up their response.”

Another officer arriving at the scene helped to pull Spates from his 2004 Jeep Liberty and “immediately began rendering aid with his tactical first-aid kit,” the PCSP said. “Shortly after, Portage EMS was on the scene and pronounced the driver as deceased.”

An autopsy performed on Sunday revealed that Spates sustained multiple gunshot wounds to “the torso and head, which led to his death,” Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris said today. Results from a routine toxicology screen are pending.

The PCSP did say that Spates was arrested on Wednesday, April 19, by Portage Police on felony charges of strangulation and domestic battery and on two misdemeanor counts of simple battery. Porter County Jail records show that Spates bonded out at 10:29 p.m. Friday, April 21, approximately three hours before Crizer performed a traffic stop on him.

The PCSP emphasized that the investigation is ongoing. “The events that took place during this incident evolved very rapidly, based on the timeline of events provided and witness statements,” the PCSP said. “Detectives with the Porter County Sheriff’s Office and crime scene investigators with Porter County and the Indiana State Police worked throughout the entire weekend and are still conducting their investigation, interviewing witnesses, canvassing the area, processing the scene, identifying the victim, notifying his next of kin, and with the Porter County Coroner’s Office during the autopsy on Sunday morning. The investigation is still ongoing.”





Posted 4/24/2017




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