Sobriety checkpoint results in
The New Year holiday resulted in only two misdemeanor drunken driving
charges as a result of police sobriety checkpoints in Porter County.
Police said 304 cars passed through the seven checkpoints located as far
north as U.S. 20 west of Interstate 94 and as far south as Hebron.
Seventy vehicles were stopped, with sobriety tests resulting in only two
minor alcohol-related arrests.
Two drivers received safety belt warnings, and one driver was cited.
Ten motorists received miscellaneous warnings for such offenses as bad
headlights or other equipment violations.
Police arrest 26 during New Year's Eve bash
WESTVILLE - An anonymous caller alerted police to an underage drinking party
New Year's Eve, resulting in 26 arrests.
Sheriff's police arrived at the Sokol residence at 599 E. U.S. 6 about 20
minutes before the new year and discovered a party in the pole barn behind the
Arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor was Nancy Sokol, 46.
Daniel Glatthorn of Valparaiso, 18, was arrested for battery and resisting
Also arrested on charges of minor consuming were:
Amber L. Martinez, 18, of Chesterton; Todd Schrenk, 18, of Chesterton;
Andrew Karch, 19, of Valparaiso; Susan Ahrens, 18, of Porter; Erin E. Lobsiger,
18, of Chesterton; Robert J. Niksic, 18, of Chesterton; Kevin Milletary, 18, of
Valparaiso; Stephanie Tharp, 18, of Chesterton; Joshua H. Goin, 18, of
Valparaiso; and Bradley Bremhorst, 19, of Valparaiso.
In addition, police took into custody 14 juveniles ranging in age from 15 to
House fire may have been arson
VALPARAISO - An early morning fire that damaged a vacant house Thursday may
have been set deliberately.
"The cause is suspicious," said Valparaiso Assistant Fire Chief David
Cheatham about a blaze that struck a multiple-level residence at 4405 Claussen
at 4:23 a.m.
The house was vacant and no utilities were hooked up, leading fire officials
believing the blaze may have been arson.
The fire was doused by 6:18, according to reports.
The home's owner has not been determined, Cheatham said. No estimate of
damages was available Thursday.
Officer dodges angry driver
LIBERTY TWP. - A motorist whose truck had been stuck in mud nearly ran over
a county police officer on New Year's Day.
Officer Douglas Snider reported he responded early Wednesday morning to a
call by Walter Privette of the Elmwood Park Mobile Home Park.
Privette told police a truck was stuck in the mud on Vail Road. A second
car and then a third car, whose drivers attempted to help, soon joined the
vehicle owned by Jason Corzan of Valparaiso.
Snider approached Corzan's truck, whose headlights were activated, and
pointed his flashlight at the driver.
Corzan became enraged, according to Snider's report, and began yelling
obscenities at the officer. Corzan then aimed the truck at Snider and drove
toward him "at full throttle," according to Snider.
Snider sidestepped the moving vehicle, which continued for 30 feet before
stopping, snapping a strap that had connected the truck to a second vehicle.
Corzan was arrested for criminal recklessness, while the other two drivers,
Kevin Tavernier of Portage and Andrew Gray of Valparaiso, were arrested for
Father reports attack by son
WASHINGTON TWP. - Richard Peters told police he was eating dinner on New
Year's Eve when his son, Christopher Peters, 18, became argumentative.
The argument culminated in Christopher Peters allegedly throwing a glass
dinner plate at his father, who sustained a swollen right eye, lacerations and
a bloody nose.
Police located Christopher Peters when they were dispatched to the Wal-Mart
on U.S. 30, where he ingested Excedrin pills in an apparent suicide attempt,
according to police.
Police seeking husband after violent encounter
WHEELER - Cynthia Watts told police she and her husband, William Watts,
began arguing as they prepared for bed New Year's Day.
According to police reports, Cynthia Watts claimed her husband slammed her
face first into a support pole in the basement of their home. Police noted a
large contusion on Watts' forehead and several lacerations.
The woman told police she believed her husband had a gun. A search by police
indicated William Watts had fled the couple's home.
Police are seeking a warrant to arrest Watts on battery charges. He remained
at large Thursday.
Indy couple's car stolen on holiday visit
MORGAN TWP. - Geoffrey Ingram awoke early New Year's Eve to see the dome
light on in his 1992 Oldsmobile.
Thinking his wife, Kristin Ingram, was getting something from the car, he
went back to sleep, according to police reports.
The Indianapolis couple was visiting Geoffrey Ingram's parents for the
When Ingram again awoke at approximately 11 a.m., the car was gone and so
was more than $13,000 in checks, a cellular phone and $200 in miscellaneous
Cab driver claims customer stiffed her
VALPARAISO - Cab driver Donna Craig says she drove James Mitchell, also of
Valparaiso, to Gary and back only to have him not pay the $55 fare.
Then when police went to Mitchell's home, they needed to use chemicals to
subdue him, according to police reports. In investigating Craig's complaint,
police discovered a warrant for Mitchell's arrest.
Craig told police she drove Mitchell to a Chase Street location in Gary and
returned him to Valparaiso, where he disappeared between two residences.
Mitchell admitted not paying the fare, but told police someone else was
supposed to pay, according to police reports.
County arrests for Dec. 31-Jan. 1
Driving with suspended license - Jacquellyn Abring, 26, of DeMotte.
Possession of marijuana - Sawsan Alghazali, 21, of Canton, Ohio; Edward
Nelson, 21, of Fort Wayne; Panagiotis Panousopoulas, 27, of Detroit.
Drunken driving - Francisco Avalos, 29, of 362 S. Locust St., Valparaiso;
Ronald Bell, 52, of 16 Maxwell, Hebron; Gerald Brunn, 38, of Gary; Bryan
Kukelka, 18, of 18050 County Line Road, Hebron; Vern Rhodes, 51, of 491
Meadowood Drive, Valparaiso; Terry Ustanik, 41, of Griffith; Joe Allonde, 43,
of 1766 Samuelson Road, Portage.
Public intoxication - Steve Batides, 28, of Hermosa Beach, Calif.; Richard
Burks, 22, of Merrillville; Diane Grieger, 29, 505 Freeman St., Valparaiso;
William Marrs, 31, 253 W. County Road 700S, Hebron; Kevin Mosier, 21, of 5930
Old Porter Road, Portage; Gregory York, 40, of Gary.
Public intoxication, disorderly conduct - Tracy Batides, 34, of Hermosa
Violation of protective order - Shannon Clark, 24, of 897 N. Ind. 49,
Failure to appear - David Corbett, 45, of 408 Eastwood Court, Valparaiso;
Roger Henderson, 27, of Lake Station; Jonathan James Jr., 30, of Gary; Donald
Magee, 36, of 5572 Tulip, Portage; Scott Murphy, 31, of 5259 Evergreen,
Portage; Joan Serynek, 38, of 6048 Mill Run Ave., Portage; Claudia Snuffer, 24,
of 419 Hickory Lane, Chesterton; Shannon Snuffer, 26, of 419 Hickory Lane,
Chesterton; Rick Spicer, 408 Michigan, Valparaiso; Jennifer Tolson, 21, of 414
Glendale, Valparaiso; Freddy Rodriguez, 34, of Gary; Naomi Baker, 19, of
Hobart; Albert Hutman, 37, of 6035 Camden Ave., Portage.
Contempt of court - Scott Criswell, 34, of Hobart; John Staples, 32, of Lake
Simple assault - Kieth Duvall, 23, of 714 Fox River, Valparaiso.
Burglary, driving with suspended license - Nicholas Irvine, 1208 Aspen
Aggravated assault - Eric Kelly, 27, of 406 Parkside, Valparaiso.
Illegal consuming by adult - Daniel Karch, 18, of 804 Tanner, Valparaiso;
Jeremy Ring, 20, of Hobart.
Driving with suspended license, contributing to delinquency of a minor -
Steven Sanders, 25, of 1622 15th St., DeMotte.
Shoplifting - Karen Parker, 41, of 6622 Old Porter Road, Portage.