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Man fled Gary traffic stop, crashed SUV into theater: police

During the stop, the driver claimed he didn’t have his ID, gave a false name and tried to hide a wallet under his leg.

A man was arrested after allegedly fleeing a traffic stop Aug. 25, 2019, before crashing a Toyota 4Runner into the Glen Theater, 2026 W. Ridge Road in Gary, Indiana.
A man was arrested after allegedly fleeing a traffic stop Aug. 25, 2019, before crashing a Toyota 4Runner into the Glen Theater, 2026 W. Ridge Road in Gary, Indiana.
Indiana State Police

A man was arrested after allegedly fleeing a traffic stop and crashing an SUV into a theater Sunday in Gary, Indiana.

A trooper saw a Toyota 4Runner commit a traffic violation about 7 p.m. on Broadway near I-80 in Gary, according to a statement from Indiana State Police. The trooper ran the SUV’s license plate and learned that the driver was wanted on a warrant for possession of barbiturates.

The trooper pulled the Toyota over near Broadway and 37th Avenue, state police said. During the stop, the driver claimed he didn’t have his ID with him, gave a false name and tried to hide a wallet under his leg.

When the trooper asked the man to get out of the vehicle and tried to handcuff him, the man pushed her, causing her to drop the handcuffs, according to police. He got back into the SUV and drove away despite his passengers telling him not to.

The trooper pursued the Toyota and saw that it crashed into the Glen Theater, 2026 W. Ridge Road in Gary, state police said. The trooper ordered him out of the SUV again and took him into custody after a struggle.

The man, 37, is being held at the Lake County, Indiana jail on suspicion of charges including battery to law enforcement, resisting law enforcement, reckless driving and leaving the scene of a crash, according to state police. Formal charges are pending approval by the Lake County prosecutor’s office.

One of his passengers, a 33-year-old man from Elkhart, Indiana, was arrested on several active warrants from Elkhart and St. Joseph counties, Indiana, state police said. He was treated for injuries from the crash before being taken to Lake County Jail.

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