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Lake County, Indiana sheriff charged with fleeing police who were trying to pull him over for speeding

Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr. was indicted Thursday on a felony count of resisting law enforcement and a misdemeanor count of reckless driving.

Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr.

The sheriff of Lake County, Indiana, has been charged with fleeing police officers in Crown Point who tried to pull him over for allegedly speeding last fall.

Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr. was indicted Thursday on a felony count of resisting law enforcement and a misdemeanor count of reckless driving.

The indictment accuses Martinez of refusing to pull over after the Crown Point officers spotted his black SUV speeding down Main Street and tried to stop him.

According to Crown Point police, the SUV continued onto U.S. Route 30 where the driver activated red and blue lights, indicating it was an unmarked police car.

Martinez released a statement denying the allegations and saying he was targeted by a “rival politician.” He did not name the politician.

Martinez became sheriff in 2017, replacing John Buncich who was convicted on federal bribery and fraud charges.

Buncich, a Democrat, was elected in 2015 to his fourth term as sheriff. But Indiana law mandates the immediate removal of an elected official after a felony conviction.