Former LaPorte councilman denies he was chased by police

2013-01-12T17:30:00Z 2013-01-12T21:38:06Z Former LaPorte councilman denies he was chased by policeStan Maddux Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
January 12, 2013 5:30 pm  • 

A LaPorte official admits trying to elude police and driving too fast but denies there was any chase involved.

“I'm embarrassed by my actions, of course, but I just want to be clear that it is accurately characterized,” said Tim Stabosz, secretary of the LaPorte Historic Preservation Commission.

Stabosz, 44, has been asked to resign from his position by Mayor Blair Milo.

Stabosz said he is not resigning and hopes to gain support for remaining on the commission by getting his side of what he feels has been an overblown story across to city officials.

Stabosz said he was heading back early Thursday from the theater in Michigan City.

He wasn't wearing a seat belt and was in the area of Monroe Street and Jefferson Avenue when he a saw police officer who seemed to be positioning himself to make a traffic stop.

Stabosz said he had recently been ticketed three times for seat belt and parking violations and decided to take an alternate route home.

According to police, he quickly accelerated and turned down two side streets then, while turning again to head east on Lincolnway, was traveling fast enough for his 1987 BMW to fishtail.

Police said his car was traveling fast enough to add distance between himself and the officer trying to catch up to him.

Stabosz, though, said he traveled only four blocks on Lincolnway and when the lights and siren on the police car were activated he immediately pulled over.

“There was no high-speed chase,” said Stabosz, who added, “This was an effort to alter my route back home to potentially avoid a traffic stop. When the lights came on, I immediately pulled over.”

Stabosz was ticketed for a seat belt violation, failure to yield and speeding.

He was not arrested.

LaPorte Police Capt. Tom Heath stopped short of saying there was a chase.

“He didn't flat out run, but he did try to evade from us a little bit,” Heath said.

If Stabosz doesn't resign, Milo said, she will ask the City Council to rescind its appointment of Stabosz to the commission.

Stabosz said he plans to tell his side of the story more to the mayor and council members in hopes of gaining support for staying on the commission.

“I certainly appeal to my fellow citizens for their understanding. I would like to think this doesn't rise to the level that would call for me to resign,” Stabosz said.

Stabosz served on the City Council from 2003 to 2006.

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