PORTER COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) – An incident that started with alleged car break-in attempts in Valparaiso ended with police shooting at a suspect who tried to steal an Indiana Toll Road Concessions Co. maintenance truck Wednesday afternoon.
Valparaiso police were initially dispatched for reports of three male suspects trying to break into cars around 2 p.m., according to a release from the Indiana State Police.
Around 2:35 p.m., a Valparaiso officer tried to stop a vehicle matching the description of the vehicle containing the suspects, but they did not stop, instead fleeing north on Calumet Avenue and State Road 49 before ultimately going west on the Indiana Toll Road.
After about 3 miles on the Toll Road, the suspect vehicle crashed near Mile Marker 27.8. The three suspects allegedly ran away from the crash into a wooded area north of the highway, near County Road 200 West.
Police pursued them, eventually arresting two of the suspects. But the third eluded them, getting back on the Toll Road and running west.
A Toll Road maintenance worker reportedly saw the third suspect try to get in an occupied vehicle stopped in traffic, then try to force his way into the maintenance worker's vehicle.
The maintenance worker told the suspect he could not take the truck, but the suspect put it in reverse, backing up and crashing into a semitrailer. While backing up, he allegedly drove toward the maintenance worker and officers chasing the suspect.
In response, a Porter County Sheriff's Office deputy and two ISP troopers fired their weapons.
The suspect tried to put the truck in drive and flee again but crashed into another semi.
Undeterred by his previous unsuccessful attempts at escape, the suspect jumped down below the Toll Road and tried to run away on C.R. 200 West, but he was finally taken into custody.
The third suspect was treated at a local hospital for injuries that are not considered life-threatening. The ISP release does not indicate that he was struck by gunfire.
Police have not publicly identified any of the suspects.
The investigation is ongoing, and state police say that when it is closed, results will be turned over to the Porter County Prosecutor's Office for potential charges.