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On Monday, 9/27/2021, a suspect led Lake County Sheriff’s Department police officers on a high-speed chase into Illinois, according to Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr.

Officers first observed the vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed near Ridge Road and Grant Street in Gary at approximately 11:30 a.m. Officers attempted a traffic stop for speeding and improper display of license plate, but the driver maneuvered the vehicle through a gas station at a high rate of speed in an attempt to evade officers, Martinez stated.

Lake County officers pursued the vehicle as it continued at a high rate of speed, heading northbound on Grant Street, westbound on Interstate 80/94 and eventually crossing into Illinois and heading northbound onto the Bishop Ford Expressway. The driver entered the shoulder in an attempt to get away from officers, but crashed into the rear of an unoccupied disabled vehicle near 159th Street.

The suspect got out of the vehicle and fled on foot, but was tracked by a Lake County Sheriff’s Department K-9 and The Lake County Aviation Unit helicopter. The suspect was placed into custody and transported to a Chicago hospital where he was treated for injuries sustained from the K-9, Martinez said. After treatment, he is expected to be transported to the Cook County Jail to await extradition to Indiana. The suspect is a 34-year-old Portage, Indiana resident.

A passenger in the suspect vehicle refused medical treatment at the scene of the crash. He is a 19-year-old Calumet City resident. He told responding officers that he accompanied the suspect to a gun shop in Gary to purchase weapons. Officers retrieved several boxes of ammunition and an extended magazine, which were in plain sight inside the vehicle.

At this time officers are investigating several factors, including whether purchases at the gun store were made legally, Martinez said.

While returning back to Indiana from the arrests at the pursuit, a Lake County Officer was sideswiped by a semi on 94 in one of the new Dodge Hellcats recently purchased by the department. The officer did not sustain any injuries and the vehicle was towed from the scene. This was 1/9 high performance vehicles recently obtained by the department using seized drug money. Vehicles towed by Caruthers Towing.

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