LAPORTE | A suspected heroin user without shoes or pants on tried to run from police in LaPorte on Friday, but officers tracked his bare footprints in the snow to make the arrest.
Kevin Taylor, 29, was arrested for resisting law enforcement.
According to police, officers went to a home in the 300 block of Jefferson Avenue near the downtown about 1 a.m. to arrest Taylor on a warrant for failing to appear in court on a charge of driving with a suspended license.
Taylor, wearing just boxer shorts, asked to use the bathroom first and he was granted permission -- but after a few minutes with the door shut he escaped out a second story window, according to police.
Police said officers tracked footprints with all five toes in the snow to a nearby apartment building in the 200 block of Maple Avenue.
Officers tried entering an apartment but someone behind the door was holding the door shut.
Eventually, after officers yelled out several commands, the man behind the door said, "Okay, I'm going out."
Taylor emerged and he was taken into custody after struggling with officers, police said.
When asked if he had used prescription drugs, Taylor said "heroin."
He went on to say, "'I feel heroin is a prescription because it is a need, not a want," police said.
Taylor said he snorted the heroin at his home and when officers went back they saw his girlfriend feeding a 6-week-old baby along with two other children, according to police.
The arrest points to a continuing problem with recent cases including a 32-year-old woman whose daughter asked police to live elsewhere.
On Jan. 4, police said officers responded to a disturbance on Grove Street and the 13-year-old girl wound up leaving to stay with a relative for a few days.
She alleged her mother uses heroin with her boyfriend. Seized from the home was a bag of heroin, syringes and shoelaces and the woman uses to wrap around her arm to expose a vein for her injections, police said.
On Jan. 3, police said a 21-year-old man was arrested when stopped for speeding in the 100 block of Miller Drive and found with 16 grams of heroin.
LaPorte County Coroner John Sullivan said he sees no change in the problem despite numerous steps taken by the city to address the issue.
Among the strategies has been more arrests and longer sentences for heroin dealers and drug abuse education returning to the schools.
"We're preaching until we're blue in the face, and the police are doing all that they can about it. It's just an overwhelming problem," Sullivan said.