Last night a vehicle pursuit led to a 17-year-old South Bend boy being taken into custody to face charges for resisting law enforcement with a vehicle and operating a vehicle without ever having been licensed. Further investigation revealed the boy had also been reported as a runaway from Saint Joseph’s County.
Tuesday at approximately 8:30 p.m., Indiana State Police Sergeant Adam Moor initiated a traffic stop on 2002 Dodge Caravan which was traveling southbound on U.S. 31 near Miami County Road 500 South. The van did not have a license plate and allegedly had a broken taillight. The driver, later identified as the 17-year old South Bend boy, did not stop, and led Moor on a short vehicle pursuit. The chase ended when the 17-year-old crashed the van in a field near State Road 218 and Cass County Road 500 West. The 17-year-old initially escaped on foot, leaving behind three teen passengers in the vehicle. A 13-year-old boy, a 15-year-old girl, and a17-year-old girl were found in the car. The trio was treated for injuries ranging from a complaint of pain, to having teeth knocked loose, and a concussion. All three were from South Bend and were released to their parents. At this time, they do not face any criminal charges.
Approximately four hours after the initial vehicle pursuit, there was a report of a stolen vehicle from a business near where the Dodge Caravan had crashed. Officers from the Miami County Sheriff’s Department located the vehicle and were able to take the driver into custody. Evidence indicates the driver of the stolen vehicle was the 17-year-old boy who had fled from Sergeant Moor. Further investigation revealed he was a reported runaway from Saint Joseph’s County.
Moor will submit a report to the Miami County Prosecutor’s Office requesting the 17-year-old boy be charged with resisting law enforcement with a vehicle and operating a vehicle without ever having been licensed.
All criminal defendants are to be presumed innocent until, and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.