Trooper Strong Car Jacking_1 6-17-19Monday morning, a Good Samaritan stopped to help a driver who had crashed his vehicle in Newton County at approximately 6:20 a.m., on US 41 near CR 300 W, this is just north of Morocco.   When the Good Samaritan had a weapon displayed toward him he was forced to take the driver away from the crash scene.  The Good Samaritan was released, unharmed, a few miles away and the suspect fled east with the vehicle.

Master Trooper Jim Strong who was working in Starke County at the time, heard the dispatch and description of the stolen car, a gray Chrysler Sebring with Illinois plates, and went to the US 30 and SR 39 area.  Strong went east bound on US 30 and as he approached Oak Road and US 30 in Plymouth he saw the vehicle.  Strong attempted to make a traffic stop but the driver of the Chrysler fled going south onto US 31.  The driver, white older male, attempted to make a right turn onto 14C Road, but was going too fast and went off the road into the ditch on the right side.

Trooper Strong Car Jacking_2 6-17-19Trooper Strong made a felony stop and held the driver until Plymouth Police and Marshall County Sheriff’s Department arrived and they took the driver into custody.  The driver, identified as Victor E. Cihonski Junior, 61 of South Bend, was taken to Saint Joseph’s Medical Center in Plymouth where he was treated and released with non-life threatening injuries. He was transported to the Lake County Jail in Crown Point and charged with Operating While Intoxicated on a Controlled Substance, Reckless Driving, Resisting Law Enforcement with a Vehicle, and weapon charges.

Cihonski is also facing several felony charges from the Newton County Sheriff’s Department related to the car-jacking.

Cihonski is also being held in connection with the armed robberies that occurred in Cedar Lake and Lowell.  Formal charges are to be determined by the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office.

Assisting: Newton County Sheriff’s Department, Plymouth Police, Marshall County Police, Starke County Sheriff’s Department, Lake County Prosecutor’s Office, Cedar lake Police, Argos EMS and Lyon’s Towing

Pictures are of the crash scene on US 31 in Plymouth and of Vincent Cihonski