LAPORTE — Two men helped police here catch two suspected drunken drivers over the New Year’s holiday weekend, police said.
One man allegedly chased a driver on foot and held him for responding officers.
LaPorte Police Capt. Bill Degnegaard said help from residents is appreciated, but not when they place themselves in danger.
"To actually restrain them themselves, we prefer they don’t. We’d rather they contact us and let the police handle that," Degnegaard said.
Xaun Logan, 22, and Buddy Garwick, 26, both of LaPorte, were arrested Saturday.
About 1:45 a.m. Saturday, according to the police report, 38-year-old Teddy Leslie saw what appeared to be somebody trying to steal his pickup truck on Jackson Street.
Leslie told police he confronted Garwick and pulled Garwick out of his truck. Garwick got into his father's vehicle, which looked similar to Leslie's, and fled with Leslie following in his own truck.
Leslie, who had phoned police, was soon followed by a LaPorte Police officer who asked for help from LaPorte County police in the area.
Leslie was still following when Garwick was stopped by several county officers on U.S. 35 at 400 South, police said.
Garwick’s blood alcohol content was .207 percent, police said. The legal limit is 0.08.
Garwick was cited for running several stop signs and a traffic light during the pursuit down several city streets as well as operating while intoxicated, resisting arrest and unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle.
The second civilian-assisted arrest came Saturday evening.
About 7:45 p.m., Kyle Mace, 19, began following in his own vehicle after seeing Logan strike three mailboxes on McClung Road between Park Street and Ind. 39, according to the police report.
Logan got out of his SUV in the 100 block of McClung Road and ran into a nearby wooded area with Mace behind him on foot.
Eventually, the teenager caught up to Logan and held him until Logan was placed in handcuffs, police said.
According to police, Logan had a .279 percent blood alcohol content. He was arrested on charges of operating while intoxicated.
Degnegaard said keeping a suspected drunken driver in sight until police get there is encouraged, but anything above that is risky.
"You don’t know if they’re armed with anything. You don’t know what type of abilities they have. It’s better to just let the police handle that," Degnegaard said.