Police identify 2 accused of leading officers on hourslong pursuit that left officer, K-9 injured

Donzel Jenkins and Dionte Vaughns

Provided by Lake County Sheriff's Department

CROWN POINT — Police on Friday identified a 26-year-old Markham man and a 25-year-old Homewood man accused of leading police on a nearly two-hour chase from the Cedar Lake area to Chicago's South Side.

Dionte Vaughns, 26, of Markham, and Donzel Jenkins, 25, of Homewood, were expected to face charges in Illinois and Lake County Criminal Court, police said.

Lake County sheriff's Officer Doug Parker and his K-9 Rocky, a Dutch shepherd, were recovering well Friday from injuries they suffered during Thursday's chase, Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr. said in a statement.

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UPDATE: Lake sheriff's officer, K-9 hit by squad during chase; suspect captured in Chicago

A Lake County police officer and his K-9 are injured as they attempt to chase two men who ran from a stolen car Thursday. The suspects were eventually taken into custody in Chicago.

Police were working with the Lake County prosecutor's office to charge Vaughns with resisting arrest and auto theft.

Jenkins could be charged in Lake County with resisting arrest, auto theft, two counts of reckless driving and numerous traffic violations, a sheriff's release said.

The chase began about 8:30 a.m. Thursday when police attempted to stop a 2006 silver Mercedes-Benz, which had been reported stolen out of Forest Park, Illinois, earlier that morning.

The men sped off in the Mercedes and nearly struck a construction worker as they fled east on 133rd, police said. The chase continued into Illinois, ending nearly two hours later near 93rd and May streets in Chicago.

Parker and his K-9 were injured when they exited the passenger side of their squad and were struck by another police car as the men fled on foot from the Mercedes in South Holland. Rocky suffered a broken paw, was stabilized at Glenwood Village Pet Hospital and later taken by sheriff's helicopter to a veterinary specialist at Purdue University in West Lafayette.

Jenkins and Vaughn continued to run and were able to steal a second vehicle — a white pickup truck — and elude capture at that point, police said.

The pursuit went through multiple communities, on Interstates 94 and 57, and reached speeds of up to 80 mph, police said. The Lake County sheriff's helicopter crew kept tabs on the suspects' location until they were taken into custody.

Martinez said during a Thursday news conference the injuries to the officer and K-9 would be a teaching moment for his department.

No weapons were found despite initial reports the suspects may have been armed, Martinez said.

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Public safety reporter

Sarah covers crime, federal courts and breaking news for The Times. She joined the paper in 2004 after graduating from Purdue University Calumet.