Here are the top five stories you need to know about today.
Broad Street Gyros owner facing felony charges after cocaine found in customer's cheese stick order
GRIFFITH — Two months after a Broad Street Gyros customer found cocaine in her cheese sticks order, police have secured felony charges against the business owner now accused of attempting to deal cocaine out of her restaurant.
Griffith Police Cmdr. Keith Martin said charges were filed and a warrant issued Thursday for Carrie Demoff's arrest.
The 50-year-old Gary woman was taken into custody at a known associate's house in Calumet Township and is now at Lake County jail, Martin said.
The business at 105 N. Broad St. in downtown Griffith — steps away from the town's police department — was first shuttered Nov. 22. The Town Council voted to allow the suspension to stand during the police department's investigation, records show.
Police said this week that the business remains shut down and the license suspended.
On surveillance footage, Demoff is seen entering the business office and returning to the kitchen prep line to pick up a white Styrofoam container and "drop an object into it and then seal with a similar style lid," the charging affidavit states.
The styrofoam cup was then taken to another prep station and remained in Demoff's possession until it was placed on the counter and then placed in a larger bag.
The cheese sticks order remained in the camera view until a customer arrived and paid for her meal that "unknowingly (contained) the narcotics packaged by Demoff for another individual," the affidavit stated.
Customer finds cocaine
At about 6:20 p.m. Nov. 21, police received a 911 call from a woman who explained she discovered drugs in her take-home order from Broad Street Gyros.
She told police when she came home, she immediately got a call from a female she believed to be the business owner, Demoff. Demoff asked if she received an order of cheese sticks by mistake, the affidavit said.
When the customer said yes, the person on the other end requested she "bring it back," at which point the customer refused. The person on the phone pressed further, even asking for the customer's home address so they could personally pick it up.
Growing suspicious, the customer looked more closely at her food and discovered a white powdery substance in a container that later tested positive for cocaine, Martin said.
Officers were able to obtain a search warrant that night, executed at about 8:40 p.m., Martin said. A K-9 handler and his police dog, Gino, reportedly detected the presence of drugs in several locations.
"The most prominent was in the business office," Martin said.
Police records show the business owner was present at the time of the executed search warrant.
No drugs were located, but the owner allegedly admitted to police during the search that she had "partied before while at work," Martin said, referring to police records.
When the detective asked what "partied" meant, the woman replied she "did a line (of cocaine) and toked a few times," court records show.
Demoff told police she realized she mistakenly packaged an order when two "younger men" came in upset they didn't receive their order of cheese sticks.
When pressed about why she didn't simply make a fresh order, Demoff became hostile and upset with officers, the affidavit stated.
Martin said Griffith police had been waiting on state police to extract information from surveillance footage seized from the business to pursue charges.
Video footage shows a man enter Broad Street Gyros that night, bypass the cashier to speak directly with Demoff, records show.
"The male locates his wallet and begins to count out cash ... and Demoff (becomes) visibly distraught and irate since she cannot locate the bag, frantically making phone calls," the affidavit states.
Demoff has been charged with attempted dealing in cocaine, a level 4 felony, and possession of cocaine, a level 6 felony.
She was also charged with "maintaining a common nuisance - controlled substances" for "knowingly or intentionally" maintaining her business for unlawful use of manufacturing, selling and delivering controlled substances, records show.
'I have to kill you now.' Police say Lake Station woman charged with attempted murder tried to wash bloodied butcher knife after stabbing at mobile home park.
LAKE STATION — A 54-year-old woman charged in Thursday's stabbing at a trailer park allegedly tried to wash off the bloodied butcher knife used in the crime, but police discovered more blood beneath the broken handle, court charging documents show.
Susan L. Hogue, of Lake Station, was formally charged Friday with attempted murder in connection with the crime at Ravinia Pines, a mobile home park at 534 E. 37th Ave.
Shortly after midnight, Hogue went to a 40-year-old woman's mobile home in the 500 block of East 37th Avenue to tell her she wanted her pills, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Friday in Lake Criminal Court.
After the woman provided her pills, Hogue allegedly said "I have to kill you now," before pulling out a large butcher knife, records show.
Hogue then jumped onto the woman's chest and stabbed her several times while saying she had to kill her because she "was not going to prison," the affidavit says. At one point, Hogue placed a pillow over the victim's face and said, "Just die, (expletive)."
After Hogue allegedly left her for dead, the victim told police she got in her boyfriend's car and drove to a nearby gas station where someone found her and called for help.
The woman was first taken to St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart but later airlifted to a hospital in South Bend with "many stab and cut wounds."
She remained in the hospital's intensive care unit as of Friday, with lacerations to her liver and diaphragm and a lung filling with blood, records state.
A search warrant of Hogue's home turned up a large kitchen knife inside her dishwasher. The knife appeared freshly washed, but bent, and the handle had practically been broken, the affidavit states.
"Underneath the broken handle is a red substance which appears to be blood," police stated in the affidavit.
Numerous assorted prescription pills in the victim's name were found inside Hogue's vehicle, police said in court records. Hogue lives about 200 yards from the victim's place.
Hogue faces charges of attempted murder, robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, aggravated battery, battery by means of a deadly weapon and battery resulting in serious bodily injury.
Anyone with information regarding this case can contact Detective Sgt. Glenn Gulley at 219-962-1186 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
State police find 121 pounds of pot during traffic stop
PORTAGE — Indiana State Police officers found nearly 121 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop Thursday, resulting in the arrest of two New York residents.
Around 12:31 p.m., officers pulled over a gray Dodge Avenger after the driver, Howard Montogomery, 46, Rochester, New York, allegedly committed several traffic violations will driving eastbound on the Indiana Toll Road.
While police spoke to Montgomery and his passenger, Danielle Ruise, 32 of Rochester, New York, they became suspicious of criminal activity.
A free-air sniff, which allows a police dog to sniff the area around the car, was conducted and state police K-9, Axel, gave a positive indication. After conducting a search, police found about 121 pounds of suspected marijuana in the trunk of the Dodge.
Montgomery and Ruise were both arrested and face preliminary charges of felony dealing marijuana. Montgomery and Ruise were both transported to the Porter County Jail. The state police were assisted by the Portage Police Department and Porter County Sheriff’s Department.
Hammond man accused of attacking another man with a sledgehammer in Scott Middle School parking lot
HAMMOND — A Hammond man has been charged with multiple felonies, including attempted murder, in an incident that occurred Thursday at Scott Middle School.
Patrick Joseph Ross, 39, of the 7600 block of Golfway Court, is accused of attacking a man with a sledgehammer in the parking lot of the school, according to court records.
A police report stated that Ross broke out the victim's car window with the sledgehammer and struck him a number of times with it. Police said the victim was at the school to pick up a student at the request of the student's mother.
A witness at the scene told Ross he "shouldn't be doing that here," according to court records. Ross told the witness the woman in the car with the victim was the mother of his children, court records state.
An investigation led police to a nearby McDonald's, records state, and there they spoke to the victim, who was in an ambulance while the woman in the car appeared to be under the influence of prescription medicine and passed out.
Police said they located Ross at his Golfway Court address, and he told them he had "beaten someone who was harassing him."
Ross is currently in police custody.
Governor extends enforcement moratorium on CBD oil sales by Indiana retailers
INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric Holcomb is giving Hoosier lawmakers more time to figure out what the state's policy toward cannabidiol, also known as CBD oil, should be, before allowing state police to enforce what Attorney General Curtis Hill believes is an existing prohibition on the sale of the marijuana-derived product.
The Republican chief executive announced Friday that he's continuing the 60-day moratorium on CBD oil citations that he issued in November to run through the March 14 adjournment of the 2018 General Assembly.
"I said back in November that I was open to extending the education period on CBD oil products to give legislators the time they need to add clarity to Indiana law," Holcomb said. "Lawmakers have indicated they would like more time to consider proposed legislation."
"For that reason, I am extending the education period for CBD oil products and the moratorium on issuing citations or removing products from retailers until the legislative session concludes."
Holcomb's initial order followed the release of an official opinion by the Republican attorney general that found even though Indiana lawmakers last year authorized Hoosiers with treatment-resistant epilepsy to use CBD oil, they did not authorize retailers to sell the product.
Moreover, Hill said even those individuals entitled to use CBD oil under state law still are prohibited by federal law from doing so, because marijuana and marijuana-derived products are banned controlled substances — even those, such as CBD oil, that lack the ingredient that produces a "high."
"There is no doubt, as a matter of legal interpretation, that products or substances marketed generally for human consumption or ingestion, and containing cannabidiol, remain unlawful in Indiana as well as under federal law," Hill said.
Several measures pending in the Indiana House and Senate would allow any Hoosier to purchase and use CBD oil under an exception for industrial hemp products enacted into federal law in 2015.