Gary, IN (Lake County) - An Indiana State Trooper was hit in the rear of his police car by an impaired driver, while sitting in the car with another impaired driver.
It happened at 12:10 a.m. Saturday morning. According to a press release from the Indiana State Police, Trooper Ala’a Hamed was sitting stationary facing south bound on the west shoulder near the intersection of Broadway and 15th Avenue in Gary. Hamed had detained 48 -year-old Mario L. Rodriguez of Valparaiso, who was sitting in Hamed’s police car with Hamed for allegedly driving impaired.
Hamed heard what sounded like a car crashing when he looked in his rear view mirror and saw a silver Chevrolet coupe sideswipe a parked 2016 Chevrolet van, then ricochet off and hit the rear of his police car. This pushed his police car into the rear of Rodriguez vehicle, a 2005 Kia sedan.
Hamed went to check on the driver of the Chevrolet coupe, which he could see it was being driven by an african-american woman who tried to accelerate the car towards him. However, the Chevrolet was wedged and stuck into the rear of the police car and her front tires were spinning. Hamed proceeded with a felony stop until the female complied with his commands to exit the Chevrolet.
Hamed, Rodriquez, and the Chevrolet’s driver, 36-year-old Ashley P. Brown of Hammond, were checked at the scene by Gary EMS and cleared.
Further investigation showed Brown and Rodriguez were both impaired. Brown tested .13% B.A.C. on a certified test and Rodriguez tested .16% B.A.C. on a certified test. Both were transported and incarcerated at the Lake County Jail in Crown Point.
Rodriguez was charged with: Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) .15% B.A.C, OWI Endangerment, OWI per se, Driving While Suspended Infraction and Speeding.
Brown was charged with: OWI Endangerment, OWI with a B.A.C. over .08%, and Failure to Yield to Stationary Emergency Vehicle.