Motorcyclist charged with pointing gun at Indiana deputy during pursuit

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A Porter County Sheriff’s deputy fired at a motorcyclist who allegedly pointed a gun at the deputy while running away from a crash early Monday in northwest Indiana. | Indiana State Police

A man is facing multiple felony charges after he allegedly pointed a gun at a Porter County Sheriff’s Deputy on Monday during a pursuit in Valparaiso, Indiana.

Shawn Pizzuto, 31, of Valparaiso, is charged with felony counts of intimidation, pointing a firearm, resisting law enforcement and criminal recklessness, the sheriff’s office announced Wednesday.

The deputy was on his way to a call at 1:16 a.m. Monday near U.S. Route 6 and North 200 West when he clocked an orange Kawasaki motorcycle going 80 mph, according to an earlier statement from Indiana State Police.

The deputy tried to pull over the driver, later identified as Pizzuoto, but he didn’t stop, the sheriff’s office said.

Shawn Pizzuto | Porter County Sheriff’s Office

Shawn Pizzuto | Porter County Sheriff’s Office

The bike headed west on U.S. Route 6 and north on State Road 149 to Lenburg Road in Portage, Indiana, authorities said. Pizzuto lost control on a curve and the motorcycle hit a road sign.

As Pizzuto ran into the woods, he pulled out a gun and pointed it toward the deputy, the sheriff’s office said.

The deputy fired multiple times, but Pizzuto kept running into the woods and was not immediately located, authorities said.

The deputy, a 41-year-old man who has worked with the sheriff’s office for four years, was not injured, state police said.

A perimeter was set up to search for Pizzuto, and a K-9 officer was able to locate a backpack and a semi-automatic handgun in the area, authorities said.

Through further investigation, detectives learned that registered owner of the motorcycle had recently sold the bike to a man named Shawn, the sheriff’s office said.

Additionally, one of two women who were stopped in a black Dodge Charger that was following the bike when the deputy tried to initiate the stop were discovered to be in a relationship with Pizzuto, authorities said. A Facebook profile for Pizzuto contained pictures matching the bike and the handgun.

The investigation also revealed that just before the traffic stop, the driver of the Charger had been following Pizzuto home from the bar when he pulled out the gun and fire multiple rounds into the air as he rode on the bike, authorities said.

Pizzuto was taken into custody without incident about 5:30 p.m., the sheriff’s office said.

Sheriff’s office records show Pizzuto was being held at the Porter County Jail on Wednesday. Information about his bail was not immediately available.

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