Today's News

Police Officers to Patrol Indiana Roadways for Impaired Drivers during the New Year’s Day Holiday

Police officers will be out during the New Year’s Day holiday weekend and they will be on the lookout for drunk drivers. Jeremiah Patrick, Coordinator of the Starke County Traffic Safety Partnership, reports that officers from the organization will be out in force this weekend. The Starke County Traffic Safety Partnership includes officers from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department, Knox City Police Department and the North Judson Police Department. Officers from the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department will also be out in force to help detect drunk drivers.

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Police Reports

Knox City Police Chief Clint Norem

Knox City Police Chief Clint Norem

From the Knox City Police Department:

Incidents:
12/28/10 Police were called to the Family Dollar parking lot in reference to a minor vehicle accident. Witnesses told police that Glenna Smith of Knox was attempting to enter a parking space. The right side of Smith’s vehicle reportedly struck the rear bumper of a parked vehicle on the left side and damaged the vehicle. Witnesses stated that Smith backed from the space and drove to the north end of the parking lot and parked. She then exited the vehicle and walked into the store. Smith has pending charges of Driving While Suspended and Leaving the Scene of an Accident.

12/27/10 Police were called to Wythogan Park. Two people were walking on the walking path in Wythogan Park and when they stopped under the walking bridge, they discovered several pinkish colored pills over the wall and near the water. The officer investigated and found approximately 400 to 500 pink colored pills laying in the snow and ice near the river. The officer secured the medication, which was classified as a Schedule 4 Drug.

Arrests:
12/27/10 Michael Greenfield, 51, 312 S. Main St., Apt. A, Knox, IN, arrested on a preliminary charge of Theft. He allegedly drove away from the Marathon Gas Station in without paying for gas worth $38.50.

Sheriff Oscar Cowen

Sheriff Oscar Cowen

From the Starke County Sheriff’s Department:

12/26/10 A resident in the 8000 block of S. 50 W in North Judson reported to police that automatic gunfire is coming from the north of her residence. She knows hunters are in the area but she said it didn’t sound like a rifle.

12/23/10 A resident in the 7500 block of S. 200 W. in North Judson reported a possible break in.

12/23/10 A resident in the 8800 block of E. 850 S. in Knox reported wiring was stolen from his irrigation system.

12/22/10 A resident in the 200 block of N. Broadway Street in San Pierre reported the theft of a washer and a 4-wheeler.

Arrests:
12/23/10 Aimee Zimmerman, 37, 6342 E. Bass Ave., Knox, IN, arrested on a preliminary charge of Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated.

Doug Vessely

North Judson Town Marshal Doug Vessely

From the North Judson Police Department:

Incidents:
12/23/10 – North Judson Police responded to a welfare check in the 200 Block of West Weninger Street around 9:30 am. Police located the estranged wife of Stephen Lewis, 36, of 206 W. Weninger Street. The woman had been battered by her husband and after a short investigation Stephen B. Lewis was arrested and taken to the Starke County Jail and charges with Domestic Battery, Battery wife serious Bodily Injury, and Invasion of Privacy for Violation of a Protective Order. North Judson Officer, Mathew Anderson, and Starke County Sheriff Deputy, Don Ferguson, responded to the incident as well as North Judson Police Chief Doug Vessely.

12/27/10 – Shortly after 2:00 a.m., North Judson Police were called to the 600 Block of Arlington Avenue to investigate a Battery. It is believed a stepson came to the residence and battered his stepfather. North Judson Officer Joe Budner investigated and provided a complete report to the Starke County Prosecutor’s Office requesting Battery charges on the stepson.

Arrests:
12/23/10 Stephen B. Lewis, 36, 206 W. Weninger Street, North Judson arrested on preliminary charges of Domestic Battery, Battery with serious Bodily Injury, and Invasion of Privacy.

Hamlet Police Chief Jeremiah Patrick

Hamlet Police Chief Jeremiah Patrick

From the Hamlet Police Department:

Incidents:
12/27 Jim Hudgens reported a traffic accident at the intersection of Old US 30 and US 30. No injuries involved.

12/26 Dawn Wilson of Hamlet reported an unwanted subject in her home. Officers arrived and Jody Spicer voluntarily left.

12/25/10 Jamin Keeton of Hamlet reported his wife’s ex-husband, Randy Rowe, had pulled a han gun on his wife and him in LaPorte County and attempted to fire the weapon several times but the weapon would not fire. Jamin stated that he was on his way home to Hamlet and he believed Randy may come there. Hamlet Officers waited for Randy at Jamin’s residence but Randy did not show up. Laporte County was also looking for Randy.

12/23/10 Bruce Johnson reported a reckless driver westbound from Starke Street.

Arrests:
12/28 Virgil Noble of Knox was arrested at his home on a Starke County Circuit Court warrant. The warrant included Count 1: Rape, Count 2: Rape, Count 3: Sexual Battery, Count 4: Sexual Battery.

Tragic Accident Claims Life of Illinois Woman

A tragic auto accident occurred Sunday afternoon at the intersection of State Road 10 and State Road 35 in Starke County. Police found that Megan Smithson, 19, of Illinois, stopped at the intersection and pulled out onto US 35 and into the path of a vehicle driven by Tony Wagner, 37, of Winamac.  Smithson was pronounced dead at the scene by Starke County Coroner, Kris Rannells.

Wagner was transported to Starke Memorial Hospital and airlifted to South Bend Memorial for leg injuries sustained in the accident.  An 18-year-old passenger in Smithson’s vehicle was also airlifted to South Bend Memorial due to injuries suffered in the accident.  The Bass Lake Fire Department and Starke County EMS assisted the Starke County Sheriff’s Department at the scene.

James Strong Named Commander of the Indiana State Police Post in Bremen

Commander James Strong

Indiana State Police Superintendent, Paul Whitesell, recently announced the promotion of First Sergeant, James Strong, to the rank of Lieutenant to serve as the Commander of the Indiana State Police Post in Bremen. The Bremen Post covers Marshall, St. Joseph, Kosciusko, and Elkhart Counties. Strong earned this promotion through written testing and a competitive interview process.

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Police Reports

From the Knox City Police Department:

Incidents:

12/12/10 Angela Spiller, 54, 10095 E. State Road 8, Knox, IN cited for Driving While Suspended-Prior.

12/18/10 Virginia Clemons told police that when she arrived home that day, she noticed the front door open and she knew she locked the door before she left for the day. Nothing was found missing until the day after the incident. She told police money was stolen from her wallet.

12/16/10 Cody Foust reported his bank card was stolen and charges were made to his account.

Arrests:
12/18/10 Donald Humphrey, 46, 407 S. Pearl St. Knox, IN, arrested on an active Starke Circuit Court warrant for Intimidation (x2) and Harassment (Class B Misdemeanor).

From the Starke County Department:

Arrests:
12/15/10 Jeffrey Price, 49, 6135 E. 100 N., Knox, IN, arrested on an active warrant arrest through Marshall County and a preliminary charge of Possession of Chemical Agents or Precursors.
Edward A. Dudek III, 29, 6135 E. 100 N., Knox, IN, arrested on a preliminary charge of Possession of Chemical Agents or Precursors.
Police pulled over Dudek III after police found he was driving his vehicle at a slow rate of speed and he was turning his flashers on and off. Police searched the vehicle and found several containers of cold medicine that contain pseudoephedrine and a red gas can with a hose clamped to it.

Accidents:
12/15/10 Corey Stacy was driving on State Road 39 and entered the northbound traffic lane when his vehicle began to slide on the ice. He was in the path of travel of a vehicle driven by Brandi Pitts and could not avoid a collision. Pitts was transported to Starke Memorial Hospital with leg and chest pains.

12/17/10 Elena Daneska advised police she was driving her car on State Road 39, south of State Road 8, when her car began to slide. She lost control and went into a ditch filled with water. Her car was filling with water and she was unable to get either door open in order for her to exit the vehicle. She said she finally got the window open and got out onto the top of the vehicle. She was taken to Starke Memorial Hospital for minor injuries. When police talked to Daneska, they reportedly smelled alcohol on her breath. Her blood was drawn at the hospital where her blood alcohol content registered at .71%.

Several vehicle slide-off reports were taken by the Starke County Sheriff’s Department during the recent snow events, and luckily, there were no serious injuries reported.

From the Hamlet Police Department:

Incidents:
12/15/2010 Miller residence request lift assist for elderly female who fell outside at 108 S. Starke Street.

12/18/2010 An employee at the Hamlet gas station reported that a male subject was out of control. He was detained and transported for mental evaluation.

Additional Charges Filed Against Walkerton Man Involved in Police Standoff

Donald Smith

Additional charges have been filed against a Walkerton man who told Starke County police officers to leave him alone or he would kill them or himself. Donald Smith, 33, engaged in a 45 minute standoff with officers before he was taken into custody on December 15th, from a camper he was occupying.

Smith has been charged with Dealing Methamphetamine, a Class B Felony; Possession of Precursors with a Firearm, a Class C Felony; Intimidation, a Class D Felony; and Theft, a Class D Felony. He has a bond of $75,000 through Starke Circuit Court.

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Police Reports

Knox City Police Chief Clint Norem

Knox City Police Chief Clint Norem

From the Knox City Police Department:

Incidents:

12/11/10  David Griffith reported his 200 pound steel anvil stolen from his front porch.

12/11/10  Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston requested an officer at the Knox Community Center to make a police report about damage done to the Community Center after a Saturday event.  Approximately 25 tables were damaged, and 112 chairs were damaged.  The chairs were bent with the covers torn.  Several areas of carpeting were observed to have stains or a strong odor of alcoholic beverages.  The door leading to the storage area had a large dent and a black scuff mark.

12/10/10  An employee at the Marathon gas station reported a drive-off of $19.48.

12/09/10  Estella Perez, 29, 4895 E. 150 N., Knox, IN, cited for Operator Never Licensed.

Arrests:
12/11/10 Danny B. Traylor, 50, 9800 E. Toto Road, Knox, IN, arrested on preliminary charges of Operating a Vehicle with a BAC of .15% or greater, Operating a Vehicle with Controlled Substances in the Body, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of a Legend Drug.

12/09/10  Michael Greenfield, 51, 312 S. Main St. Apt. A, Knox, IN, arrested on preliminary charges of Theft (x2) and Trespassing.  He allegedly stole an item from Walgreens and an item from Advanced Auto Parts.  He was also reportedly harassing customers for a ride home from Walgreens.  He was told before to not be at that store.

12/08/10 Matthew Blount, 23, 12501 N. State Road 49, Wheatfield, IN, arrested on preliminary charges of Manufacturing Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine, and Illegal Drug Lab-Possession of Precursors.

Erica Bailey, 21, 2420 E. 400, Knox, IN arrested on preliminary charges of Dumping Controlled Substance Waste and Illegal Drug Lab-Possession of Precursors.

12/08/10 Terri Hamilton, 301 E. Danker St. #101, Knox, IN, arrested on a preliminary charge of Possession of Methamphetamine.

Sheriff Oscar Cowen

Sheriff Oscar Cowen

From the Starke County Sheriff’s Department:

Incidents:

12/09/10 Penny Wagers told police that when a renter, Steven Meeks, left the residence she and her husband was renting to him, he allegedly took items that belonged to them.  He also reportedly did damage inside the residence.

Arrests:

12/11/10 Joseph McKeehan, 23, 3700 E Debbie Dr., Knox, IN, arrested on preliminary charges of Trespassing and Possession of Marijuana under 30 grams.

12/05/10 Allen Krock, 37, 107 Garden St., North Judson, IN, arrested on a preliminary charge of Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated.

Hamlet Police Chief Jeremiah Patrick

Hamlet Police Chief Jeremiah Patrick

From the Hamlet Police Department:

12/06/10 The Hamlet Police responded to a Domestic at the Main St apartments. No arrest was made.

12/08/10 Don Wringer of Hamlet reported a fraud.

12/13/10 Vicki Boyle of Hamlet reported a water main brake.

12/13/10 The Hamlet Police responded to 3 Vehicle accidents that were all weather related.

Two Arrested in Knox on Methamphetamine Charges

Matthew Blount

Knox City Police Department officers arrested Matthew Blount, 23, of Wheatfield and Erica Bailey, 21, of Knox on methamphetamine related charges Wednesday night.

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Starke County Traffic Safety Partnership honored at Recent OPO Awards Banquet

Over the Limit, Under Arrest

The Starke County Traffic Safety Partnership was among several law enforcement agencies who were recently honored during the 16th Annual Operation Pull Over Awards Banquet in Carmel, Indiana.

The Starke County Traffic Safety Partnership received an award for Outstanding OPO Partnership. The organization also received a $2,500 Equipment Award to be used for the purchase of law enforcement equipment of their choice. The TSP members include the Knox City Police Department, North Judson Police Department, and the Starke County Sheriff’s Department.

Two Arrested on Methamphetamine Charges

North Judson Police Department

Police responded to an anonymous drug tip on Saturday afternoon that resulted in several felony arrests. Police arrived at 5880 W. 500 S. in North Judson where the home owner refused to allow police into the residence. After police left, a vehicle left the residence and passed the police. The driver was not wearing a seat belt and Mat Anderson from the North Judson Police Department attempted to perform a traffic stop but a short pursuit ensued. During the pursuit, items were thrown out of the vehicle. The items were located and taken into custody. The driver, Stephen Adrian Braasch, 28, of Argos, was arrested.

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