Police report

Porter County edition
2000-11-21T00:00:00Z Police report nwitimes.com
November 21, 2000 12:00 am

Woman killed in crash

LIBERTY TWP. -- A rural Valparaiso woman was killed and three others were injured in a crash at 8:50 p.m. Saturday at U.S. 6 and Meridian Road.

Bjorg S. Nelissen, 76, was the passenger in a car driven by her husband, 78-year-old Peter H. Nelissen.

Porter County police said the Nelissens were westbound on U.S. 6 and turned in order to go southbound on Meridian Road. But their Chevrolet Nova was struck by a Ford Escort that was eastbound on U.S. 6.

The driver of the Ford Escort, Francis H. Tibbetts, 21, of Valparaiso, and her passenger, Elton Bock, 19, of Valparaiso, were treated at Porter Memorial Hospital and released. Peter Nelissen also was treated and released.

18 arrested at party

LIBERTY TWP. -- Porter County police officers responding to a loud music complaint Friday night on Woodduck Drive ended up arresting 18 people.

Arrested on underage drinking charges were party host Christian C. Rau, 20, of 154 Woodduck Drive, Valparaiso; Johnny Azcona, 20, of 3041 Bender, Portage; Billie J. Blanc, 19, of 1147 N. CR 475E, Chesterton; Percy M. Castillo, 20, of 792 Governor, South Haven; Rachel L. Glover, 18, of 462 S. CR 720W, Hebron; Vance E. Karriman, 19, of 198 E. CR 900N, Chesterton; Daniel P. Martinez, 20, of 6025 Canden, Portage; Vincent Medina, 18, of 6316 Oglethorpe, Portage; James R. Ramirez, 18, of 5363 Mulberry, Portage; Peter J. Stathakis, 19, of 2866 Carmel, Portage; and eight juveniles.

Police said a 19th person, Thomas S. Maravich, 20, of 2420 Sea Horse, Portage, fled after being identified and tested for alcohol. Police are seeking to arrest him on charges of underage drinking and fleeing.

School broken into, arrests made

PORTAGE -- Portage police responded to an alarm at 1 a.m. Sunday at Fegely Middle School.

As officers arrived and began checking the building, Sgt. William Mesich saw a male inside the building. Police surrounded the building and waited for school officials to arrive and open the building. While police continued to search for the intruder's entry point, Cpl. Robert Shrader saw two males on the roof.

The males jumped off the roof and fled. Officer William Smith caught one and police obtained the other man's name and arrested him at his home.

Arrested on charges of burglary, criminal mischief and fleeing were David R. Turner, 26, of 5338 Mulberry, Portage, and Ernesto W Medina, 26, of 356 W. U.S. 6, Valparaiso.

Inside the school, six pop machines were vandalized. Also damaged were several doors and a steel hatch to the roof. No damage estimate was available. Police said the men were attempting to steal money from the vending machines when the alarm went off.

Hunter shoots house

JACKSON TWP. -- Gary Potesta and his wife were standing in their home under construction on Beachwood Court in the Jackson Heights subdivision when a gun shot broke a window eight feet away from them.

He and his wife went to their truck and called 911. They then saw a hunter duck into a nearby creekbed. Police and a conservation officer located hunter Christopher Sopata, 24, of 104 S. Jackson, Chesterton. Police said he first denied firing his weapon around 10:30 a.m. Saturday when the window broke. But he later admitted firing at a stump.

Police said evidence showed the round ricocheted off the stump and accidentally hit the window. Sopata was ticketed for not having his hunting license in his possession. He will reimburse the Potestas for the $600 damage, police said.

Man said he may have been shot

PORTAGE TWP. -- A farmer whose property is next to the South Haven American Legion told police he may have been grazed by a shotgun pellet fired on the American Legion's outdoor range.

Lewis F. Haas Jr., 61, told police he went out to his farm wagons and heard shooting. He said he became startled and was either grazed in the right ear by pellets or hit his head when he jumped. The incident occurred about 3 p.m. Sunday. Haas went to Porter Memorial Hospital's Emergency Room later Sunday and was treated for two small scratches on his right ear lobe.

Haas told police he's had ongoing problems with his property being damaged by shooting at the American Legion.

Man in serious condition

KOUTS -- A Valparaiso man was struck by a vehicle Friday night in the 100 block of east Indiana Avenue in Kouts.

John Remster, 79, was taken to Porter Memorial Hospital after the accident. He remained in serious condition Monday in the hospital's Intensive Care Unit.

Arrested man tries to flee moving cop car

VALPARAISO -- A man being taken to Porter County Jail for a test to determine if he was intoxicated tried to get out of the front seat of Indiana State Police Trooper Jennifer Richmond's squad car while she was traveling 55 mph.

The incident occurred about 7:30 a.m. Sunday, while the police car was exiting Ind. 49 onto Ind. 2. The trooper grabbed the man so he wouldn't exit the moving vehicle, then she called Valparaiso police for assistance.

The man was put in the back seat of Valparaiso Police Officer Brian McDonald's car and was physically restrained by Valparaiso Police Cpl. Jeff Balon while en route to jail.

The man, Duane R. Peterson, 39, of 1302 25th, Chesterton, was arrested on charges of drunken driving, attempted escape and resisting.

Former hoops star arrested

CHESTERTON -- A Porter man pulled over for speeding said "no" when asked if he'd been drinking, but police said his blood alcohol level was determined to be over the legal limit.

Daniel Palombizio, 38, of 208 Lake Vista Drive, was arrested on a drunken driving charge. The arrest was made at 1:40 a.m. Sunday at 200 E. U.S. 20.

Palombizio, while a high school basketball player at Michigan City Rogers, earned Mr. Basketball honors. He also starred at Ball State University.

Police: Man extremely intoxicated

CHESTERTON -- A man whose blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit in Indiana faces a drunken driving charge after causing a crash at 1:25 p.m. Thursday at Ind. 49 and Oakhill Road.

Allen E. Houghtaling, 42, of Valparaiso, was not immediately arrested because he was being treated at Porter Memorial Hospital for his injuries and his intoxication. The other driver declined medical treatment.

Accused of leaving scene

CENTER TWP. -- Porter County police said they are charging Michael K. Rubens with leaving the scene of an accident following a roll-over crash at 2:45 a.m. Sunday on Ransom Road.

Rubens, 27, of 760 N. Ind. 149, South Haven, was driving at the time, police said. His passenger, Audrey Lindbloom, 26, of Chesterton, suffered a broken wrist, police said. They were found at her home after the crash.

Battery reports

Portage -- A man accused of hitting a woman at Speedway on Central Avenue was arrested Friday night on charges of battery, public intoxication, intimidation and failure to register as a sex offender. The man is Alan T. Cook, 24, of 5082 Concord, Portage.

Valparaiso -- Police responded to a domestic disturbance Sunday night at 2217 Yorktowne and ended up arresting Brandon R. Wagner, 25, of that address on battery and possession of marijuana charges. The victim, Debbie J. Vargo, 36, of the same address, was arrested on a possession of marijuana charge. Police said there were at least five prior disturbances at their home.

Portage -- Charles W. Dudley, 23, of 6623 Lakeview Ave., was arrested Saturday on a battery charge after he was accused of throwing a flashlight at a woman, cutting her near the left eye. The incident occurred at their home.

Theft, vandalism reports

Valparaiso -- Police said a man who stole 16 cartons of cigarettes worth $440 from Valparaiso Wal-Mart was arrested shortly after he left the store at 12:15 p.m. Friday. Arrested on a felony theft charge and on a warrant was Charles E. Owens, 33, of Chicago.

Valparaiso -- Amanda Leuthardt of Elmhurst Avenue reported Saturday that someone used a red cinder block to vandalize the front fender and hood area of her car. The damage is $600.

Valparaiso -- Tina Schwinn of Marion Street reported Saturday that someone used a red cinder block to break a window on her car, causing $300 damage.

Valparaiso -- Lindsay Glines of Highland reported Sunday that items were stolen from her car while it was outside Realm Dance Club at Marks and Lincolnway in Valparaiso. Stolen were a $200 stereo, $50 worth of compact discs and $40 cash. The car sustained $200 damage.

Valparaiso -- Mars Electrical Engineers, 1059 West St., reported Friday that someone caused $275 damage to a trailer on the property by prying open a door.

Portage -- A newspaper box belonging to The Times was reported stolen Friday from the corner of Willowdale and Mulberry. The loss is more than $300.

Portage -- Brian L. Cummins of 4th Street reported Sunday that two vehicles at his home were vandalized. Police are investigating.

Portage -- Jerry Regaldo of Kingman Avenue reported Friday that a $300 compact disc player was stolen from his vehicle.

Portage -- Karen Armstrong of Rachel Avenue reported Friday that a stereo, speakers and an equalizer were stolen from her vehicle.

South Haven -- Eva Brewer of Governor Road reported Friday that someone entered her home, shut off her electricity, disconnected her phone and also disconnected her vehicle's battery.

South Haven -- Deborah Green of Midway Drive reported Friday that someone broke a window on her car and went through the contents. A purse stolen from Acadia Road resident Carrie Stockstill's vehicle was found on Midway Drive.

South Haven -- William Rajski of Baltimore Road reported Friday that a $500 gold chain was stolen from his car.

South Haven -- Gene Prior of Wyoming, Mich., reported Sunday that his van was broken into while on Timberline Parkway in South Haven. Stolen were $500 worth of compact discs and two headphone sets. The damage is $250.

South Haven -- Roy McDaniel of Baltimore Road reported Sunday that a $110 radar detector was stolen from his vehicle.

Washington Twp. -- A 1999 Jeep Cherokee belonging to Kevin Walters of Cain Drive in Washington Township was stolen from his driveway and was crashed in a ditch along County Road 450 south, east of Smoke Road. The incident occurred Saturday night or Sunday morning.

Arrests for Nov. 17-20

Driving with a suspended license -- Michael Simmons, 45, of Gary; Robert F. Boomsma Jr., 29, of 1623 Portage, Chesterton; Jess C. Hoover, 27, of Wanatah.

Drunken driving -- Jeffery L. Savage, 41, of 3222 Swanson, Portage; Dale L. Lawson, 26, of Hobart; Michael Connors, 42, of Bradley, Ill.; John Burch, 37, of 6385 Fallen Timbers, Portage.

Failure to appear in court -- DeAndre Grant, 23, of Michigan City; Steven Benke, 21, of Rainbow Drive, Burns Harbor; Darien Scholze, 33, of Elkhart; Michael Ballard, 45, of Hammond; Philip Comerford, 36, address not listed; Kevin E. Obarske, 23, address not listed.

Failure to comply with a court order -- Adam D. Davidson, 20, of 1221 W Beam, Porter.

Hold -- Cassandra Hogge, 18, of 8 Wagner, Porter.

Invasion of privacy -- Jessie L. Ockman, 70, of 334 Jacobs, Portage.

Possession of a pistol without permit -- Andrew W. Vullmahn, 40, of Corpus Christy, Texas.

Probation revocation -- Baron Hardy, 29, of Merrillville.

Public intoxication -- Richard E. McGrew, 46, of Kalamazoo, Mich.

Warrant -- Shem McMinn, 31, of Corpus Christy, Texas; James A. Gilbert, 21, of 508 Union, Valparaiso.

Battery, public intoxication -- Efrain F. Ocampo, 26, of 410 Misty, Hebron.

Criminal mischief, theft -- Joseph McVicker, 18, address not listed.

Driving with a suspended license, possession of marijuana -- Derrick L. Houston, 31, of Michigan City.

Drunken driving, failure to appear in court -- Tara Black, 30, of 420 Franklin, Valparaiso.

Public intoxication, possession of marijuana -- Mike Clemmons, 41, of Benton Harbor, Mich.

Resisting, underage drinking -- Jason Wells, 19, of 562 N. CR 250W,

False informing, hold, public intoxication -- David P. Sutkowski, 36, of 309 Washington, Hebron.

Battery to police, disorderly conduct, public intoxication, resisting -- James R. Frantal, 33, address not listed.

Dealing a controlled substance, failure to appear in court, false informing, intimidation -- Bobby A. Warrick, 28, of 319 Camelot, Portage.

Ken Kosky can be reached at kkosky@howpubs.com or at (219) 462-5151, Ext. 354.

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