Sheriff: LOFS man in custody in fatal hit-and-run

2012-03-08T23:40:00Z 2012-03-16T22:33:26Z Sheriff: LOFS man in custody in fatal hit-and-runBy Lindsay Machak lindsay.machak@nwi.com, (219) 933-3246 nwitimes.com

CROWN POINT | The clock was ticking late Thursday for county investigators to submit criminal charges to prosecutors in connection with the hit-and-run that killed Lake County correctional Officer Britney Meux and injured three of her colleagues Tuesday.

Jason Cozmanoff, 42, of Lakes of the Four Seasons, turned himself in to county officials Wednesday with a lawyer present, Sheriff John Buncich said.

Officials have 48 hours from the time Cozmanoff was booked into the jail to get charges formalized in the courts, Buncich said.

"He was booked in late last night on probable cause," the sheriff said late Thursday night.

Cozmanoff's attorney arranged for him to surrender Wednesday, he said.

County police responded to the fatal crash on 93rd Avenue near Main Street on Tuesday night after the four officers were struck and a vehicle fled the scene.

Meux, 25, of Crown Point, died at the scene.

David Murchek, 26, of Crown Point - the son of Lake County Assistant Police Chief Dan Murchek - Latasha Johnson and Delano Scaife were hospitalized and required surgery as a result of the accident. Murchek was later released.

Police also impounded a vehicle that was being examined since early Thursday by the county's crime laboratory staff.

A search warrant was executed on Cozmanoff's home Thursday afternoon, Buncich said.

*Court records state Cozmanoff pleaded guilty to a public intoxication charge in October 2009.

Lake County records also indicate he was ticketed twice in 1988, once in August and once in October, for illegal transportation of an alcoholic beverage on a public highway.

*Editor's note: This story has been corrected from an earlier version. The earlier version should have reported that court records show Jason Cozmanoff pleaded guilty to an amended charge of public intoxication in October 2009. A court computer system contained misleading information.

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