A bizarre turn of events found two people in police custody in an accident investigation in LaPorte.
On Wednesday, LaPorte police were responding to a noise complaint when they saw a Chevy Blazer disabled in the snow in front of Red Carpet Liquors. When officers turned around to check the vehicle, the driver was attempting to dislodge the stuck vehicle but was only spinning the vehicle’s tires in the snow. As officers approached the vehicle, the driver, later identified as a 15-year-old male, ran from the vehicle and police gave chase. A perimeter was set and the suspect was located inside Soldier’s Memorial Park and taken into custody.
The juvenile was placed in the back seat of a squad car at the original scene. Upon further investigation, officers learned that the Blazer the juvenile was driving was stolen.
While at the scene, a motorist told police that the suspect struck him at an intersection and he reportedly witnessed the juvenile strike the curb at its location.
As police were conducting an investigation on Pine Lake Avenue, 22-year-old Shane Thompson’s vehicle ran into the squad car holding the juvenile and the impact caused that squad car to hit a second marked police vehicle. Thompson, of LaPorte, reportedly told police that he saw the police vehicles stopped in the outside lane, but lost control of his vehicle on the curve and hit the rear of the squad car which caused a chain reaction. After an investigation, Thompson was arrested on preliminary misdemeanor charges of Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated (three counts). He was also cited for unreasonable speed and failure to change lanes for a stationary emergency vehicle.
The juvenile sustained injuries in the incident and was transported to IU Health LaPorte Hospital and transferred to South Bend Memorial Hospital for treatment of cuts from flying glass and neck pain. Charges are pending.