Today's News

Former South Central Teacher Arrested on Charges of Sexual Misconduct with a Minor

LaPorte County Sheriff's Department

La Porte County Sheriff's Office

A former teacher from the South Central School Corporation has been arrested after officers from the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department investigated a claim that he allegedly had an inappropriate relationship with a former student.

40-year-old Brian L. Strauss was arrested at his home in Michigan City yesterday afternoon and has been charged with two counts of Sexual Misconduct with a Minor, as a Class B Felony and a Class C Felony, Child Solicitation as a Class C Felony and Vicarious Sexual Gratification, a Class D Felony.

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LaPorte Teen Arrested after Escaping from the LaPorte County Juvenile Detention Center

A LaPorte teenager was arrested yesterday after escaping from the LaPorte County Juvenile Detention Center.

The teen escaped from the center and stole a truck in the Westville area with plans to pick up an ex-girlfriend at South Central High School. Police later located the vehicle near the school and attempted a traffic stop, but the driver fled.

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LaPorte County Sheriff’s Dept. On Lookout For Armed Robbery Suspect

LaPorte County Sheriff's Department

La Porte County Sheriff's Office

The LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department is looking for an armed robbery suspect.

A Caucasian male entered the Speedway gas station at the intersection of U.S. 35 and Highway 20 on Monday evening, brandished a gun, and demanded cash with a gesture. He was able to leave with an undisclosed amount of cash.

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LaPorte Man Arrested on Charges after a July 19 Fatality Accident

A LaPorte man was arrested on a warrant yesterday in South Bend after he was reportedly involved in an accident that killed one person and seriously injured two children in LaPorte County.

The South Bend Police Department and the U.S. Marshals service notified the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department that 35-year-old John R. Mikle had been arrested.

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LaPorte Man Arrested For Manufacturing Methamphetamine

A LaPorte man was arrested Wednesday after LaPorte Metro Operations personnel followed him as part of a surveillance operation to a residence in the 200 block of Worden Street in LaPorte. Police say when they approached the home, they were given permission to search and soon found precursors and what appeared to be the initial stages of methamphetamine production.

Matthew Rancatore, 23, was arrested at the scene and taken to the LaPorte County Jail, where he is pending bond. The Indiana State Police Methamphetamine Suppression Team from Lowell was notified and responded to the scene for further investigation as well as the removal and safe disposal of the chemical components of the methamphetamine lab.

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Woman Stabbed and Robbed After Trying To Help Stranded Motorist

A good Samaritan was stabbed and robbed when she stopped to assist what she thought was a stranded motorist on Thursday just south of the city of LaPorte.

LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department Chief of Detectives John Boyd says a woman had stopped her vehicle on 250 South near 100 West to lend a hand to a man who she thought was having trouble with his tan- or cream-colored Honda Sonata, when the suspect suddenly stabbed her and stole her money. While police have yet to arrest a suspect, an investigation is underway.

The incident took place early Thursday afternoon, and the victim has since been treated and released from the hospital.

LaPorte Man Dies in Accident

A LaPorte man was killed in a Toll Road accident late last night.

Ryan Joseph Smith, 20, of LaPorte was northbound on Holmsville Road in LaPorte County when for unknown reasons, he drove off the overpass. His vehicle went airborne and struck a semi pulling a box trailer on Interstate 80. Smith’s vehicle then rolled multiple times through the median. Smith was ejected from the vehicle. The vehicle continued into the westbound lanes where it struck another semi.

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LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department Investigates Shooting

A LaPorte County woman was injured and her ex-husband was later found dead with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department officers were called to a residence in Coolspring Township on Monday on a call that shots were fired. A 41-year-old female was found at the scene with a soft tissue injury to her back and side. The victim had been shot at while inside the home. The suspect reportedly fired at her and barely missed her. Police believe that the victim was injured by glass fragments and window fragments caused by the bullet that went through the window.

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LaPorte County Stepping Up Patrols For Prom

LaPorte County Sheriff's Department

LaPorte County Sheriff's Department

The LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office and the LaPorte County DUI Task Force has announced that it will increase enforcement and patrols around prom and post-prom sites this spring, with a goal of deterring alcohol use and eliminating alcohol-related crashes among high school prom attendees.

Proms will start Saturday, April 28th, for Marquette, New Prairie, South Central, and Westville High Schools, and will continue through Saturday, June 2nd when Michigan City High School will host their prom and post-prom. The DUI Taskforce will saturate the areas around each prom and post-prom site in an effort to deter potential alcohol and drug use, with zero-tolerance toward the consumption and possession of alcoholic beverages. Those who provide alcohol to minors will be targeted and jailed.

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LaPorte Bank Robbed At Gunpoint

A man was arrested in Elburn, Illinois, after fleeing from police following his alleged robbery of the LaPorte Savings Bank. On Friday, April 20th, deputies from the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office were called to the bank in response to a hold-up alarm. Within several seconds of the alarm, the LaPorte County Regional Dispatch Center received a telephone call from an employee of the bank who said that the bank had just been robbed at gunpoint, and he said that a single male had entered the bank with a handgun.

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13th Annual Peace Officer Memorial Scheduled for May 9th in LaPorte

LaPorte County Sheriff's Department

LaPorte County Sheriff's Department

The LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting the 13th Annual Peace Officer Memorial on Wednesday, May 9th.

The ceremony is held each year in remembrance of fallen officers in LaPorte County, as well as the United States, and also recognizes those that are injured in the line of duty. Orland Park, Illinois Police Chief Tim McCarthy will be this year’s keynote speaker. Chief McCarthy, who retired from the United States Secret Service, is best known for his heroic effort to save President Ronald Reagan during an attempt on the President’s life on March 30th, 1981. McCarthy used his body to shield President Reagan and as a result, suffered a gunshot wound to the chest.

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Almost $17,000 Worth of Cocaine Seized in Traffic Stop

Leobardo Campos

More than thirteen ounces of cocaine were confiscated following a traffic stop and search in LaPorte County.

According to Sheriff Michael Mollenhauer, a traffic stop was conducted on April 3rd for 42-year-old Leobardo Campos of LaPorte. He was stopped for a traffic violation on State Road 39 near LaPorte, and when Deputy Andrew Morse walked his K9 partner, Mirza, around the vehicle, it alerted him to the presence of narcotics. The vehicle was impounded and a search warrant was obtained for the car.

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Saturation Patrols Planned for Dyngus Day in LaPorte County

LaPorte County Sheriff's Department

LaPorte County Sheriff's Department

The LaPorte County DUI Task Force will be conducting saturation patrols on Monday, April 9th in connection with the celebration of Dyngus Day. The patrols will begin in the afternoon hours on Dyngus Day and conclude in the early morning hours of Tuesday, April 10th.

The LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department and officers from the LaPorte and Michigan City Police Departments will have nine deputies assigned to patrols and both marked and unmarked police vehicles will be utilized during this patrol.

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North Judson Woman Injured in Two Vehicle Accident

The LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department investigated a two vehicle accident at the intersection at State Road 39 and U.S. 30 last night.

Flora Howard, of North Judson, was reportedly traveling through the intersection and a semi ran a stop light and hit Howard’s car. She received non-life threatening injuries in the incident and the semi driver was not injured. Howard was taken to IU Health LaPorte Hospital for her injuries.

LaPorte County TRIAD Launches New Project

LaPorte County TRIAD is launching a new project to assist senior citizens. I.C.E., which stands for In Case of Emergency, is designed to give senior citizens a way of informing medical, fire or police personnel with vital medical information in case they are incapacitated and unable to provide the information.

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Inmate Mistakenly Released From LaPorte County Jail

LaPorte County Sheriff's Department

LaPorte County Sheriff's Department

According to a press release, LaPorte County Sheriff Mike Mollenhauer announced yesterday that an incident has occurred in which an inmate was mistakenly released from the LaPorte County Jail– the third such incident in about five weeks.

All three incidents occurred due to jail staff failing to follow proper procedure. The latest incident, which occurred on Feb. 28, was blamed on a paperwork mistake, and the error was not discovered until March 5. The man released, Jervon Martin, was being held on drug and resisting law enforcement charges, and is still at large, possibly in the St. Louis area.

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Knox Man Injured in Accident

A Knox man was injured in a single vehicle accident in LaPorte County.

LaPorte County Police officers responded to a call at 12:07 this morning of a car in the ditch at 1500 S. 100 W. in LaPorte County. Eugene Sinn, 57, told police that he didn’t remember how he got there or how long he was there. According to LaPorte County officials, the officer reportedly asked Sinn if he had been drinking prior to the accident and stated that he had been drinking. He was taken to the hospital for medical treatment for facial cuts and a laceration over his upper lip.

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LaPorte Man Arrested on Warrant for Dealing Cocaine

Anthony Flores

A LaPorte man was arrested on an outstanding arrest warrant for Dealing Cocaine, a Class A Felony.

26-year-old Anthony Flores, of 605 Fremont Street in LaPorte was taken into custody at his home without incident and is currently in the LaPorte County Jail. His initial hearing in LaPorte Circuit Court is scheduled for Friday, February 10th.

This arrest was the result of a four week investigation into the distribution of cocaine in the City of LaPorte as well as LaPorte County. Sheriff Michael Mollenhauer credits this arrest on a team effort between the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department and the LaPorte and Michigan City Police Departments. If you suspect drug activity in your neighborhood, call the Metro Operations Unit at (219) 325-9022.

North Judson Man Escapes Serious Harm after Head-on Collision; Michigan City Man Dies

A North Judson man sustained minor injuries in an accident that claimed the life of a Michigan City man on Saturday.

Michael Kieszkowski, 45, of Michigan City, was reportedly highly intoxicated when he crossed into oncoming traffic on U.S. 421 near County Road 1000 South. Keith Belcher, 20, of North Judson told LaPorte County police that he was southbound on U.S. 421 when Kieszkowski began flashing his high-beam headlights as he approached in the opposing lane. Belcher said he did not have his high-bream headlights on and flashed his to signal that he was not using them. Kieszkowski then reportedly veered into Belcher’s lane and Belcher told police could not avoid a head-on collision.

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LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office Opens Prescription Drop Site

If you have some unneeded or unwanted prescription medication and you’re not sure how to get rid of it, you’re in luck. LaPorte County Sheriff Michael Mollenhauer has announced that there is a new Prescription Pill Drop Site in the lobby of the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office, located at 809 State Street in LaPorte. The box is provided to give citizens a place to dispose of their unused or out-of-date prescription medication and ensures proper disposal.

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