SB golfer seriously injured during arrest, Metro Homicide investigating

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A routine traffic stop turned into much more when a man refused to pull over.

It began Tuesday night at approximately 10:30 p.m. when a South Bend Police officer attempted to pull over a driver for a traffic stop at Sunnymede Ave. and Twyckenham.

The driver, Thomas Stevens, 55, did not stop and continued in his vehicle to his home in the 1500-block of Sunnymede.

"We did hear a car come quickly down the street," said Amy Hill, who lives on the block where the chase ended. "We got up to see what was going on and immediately police cars were here on the scene."

The officer attempted to make an arrest, and in the process Stevens was seriously injured.

Stevens was taken to a local hospital and remains under police custody.

"My son and two neighbors walked down there and saw someone in handcuffs," said Nancy Eide, who lives a few houses away.

Stevens' mother, Suzanne Stevens, 76, was also arrested at the scene. She was transported to the St. Joseph County Jail, where she was booked for resisting arrest and battery to an officer.

County Metro Homicide was called out to handle the investigation due to the fact that this was an arrest by a law enforcement officer resulting in a serious injury to the suspect.

The name of the police officer involved in the arrest has not been released.

A neighbor tells Newscenter 16 he was surprised to hear Stevens was involved in the incident because he was trying to get his life back in order.

Stevens struggled with drug problems in the past. He has several drug-related charges on his criminal record.

Stevens was reportedly now turning to golf as a way to focus on something positive. He was a successful golfer in the 1980's. Stevens won the South Bend Metro Golf championship three years in a row.

The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office has not filed formal charges against Stevens or his mother. The office will review Metro Homicide's findings before making a charging decision.

Sunnymede residents were on high alert prior to Tuesday night's police chase. Several people who live in the neighborhood tell Newscenter 16 there have been numerous burglaries in that area in the last year.

"You just have to always be on alert unfortunately," Eide said. "We tend to keep an eye out."


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