Traffic blitz in school zone leads to teen’s arrest

By: NewsCenter 16 Email
By: NewsCenter 16 Email

South Bend A South Bend man has been arrested after a traffic stop turned into something more. A South Bend police officer was working a traffic enforcement assignment targeting drivers who disregard the stop signs at the intersection of Fellows and Klinger St.

During that time the officer saw a vehicle traveling northbound do just that. The officer tried to pull the car over when the car fled north on Erskine Blvd.

The car chase only lasted a short while before the driver, 18-year-old Santiago Ortiz of South Bend, bailed out of the car and fled on foot. Police eventually arrested Ortiz in the 1100 block of E. Calvert St.

When taken into custody, Ortiz, an admitted gang member, was found to be in possession of a 9mm semi-automatic handgun with two fully-loaded magazines and over one ounce of marijuana. He was found to have never been issued a driver’s license and was wanted on an outstanding warrant from St. Joseph County.

He was booked into the St. Joseph County Jail for Felony Resisting (vehicle), Resisting LE (foot), Felony Possession of Marijuana, Possession of a Handgun, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, Operating Without Ever Being Licensed, Felony Warrant (prior/unrelated) and several citations for the numerous traffic offenses related to the pursuit.

Things didn’t stop there. When Ortiz left the vehicle he didn’t put his 1999 Pontiac in park, causing the car to roll into a South Bend School Community School Corporation school bus. Luckily, no one was injured. There was only light damage.

“This case is a result of a simple traffic enforcement detail in a school zone and shows the value of these types of directed patrols as well as the necessity to pursue individuals that flee lawful police action,” says South Bend PD.


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