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911 hangup response results in 5 arrested from Hobart drug house, police say
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911 hangup response results in 5 arrested from Hobart drug house, police say

From the 5 stories to know from the weekend: 911 hangup response results in 5 arrested from Hobart drug house, police say series
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HOBART — Police arrested five people early Friday after a 911 hangup led them to a domestic disturbance at a known drug house.

Police responded around 3 a.m. to 181 Fraser Lane and found a man, identified as the homeowner, laying on the ground unconscious, Hobart Police Capt. James Gonzales said.

The responding officer recognized the man from previous overdose encounters and went back to his vehicle to retrieve his NARCAN for revival. The homeowner had regained consciousness when the officer returned.

The man had a welt over his eye and was bleeding from his lip, injuries consistent with being battered, Gonzales said.

As police conducted their interviews, a witness said the homeowner and another man, identified as 27-year-old Eric Haines, of Hobart, were in a verbal argument. The homeowner called police, and Haines then battered the homeowner, the witness said.

Haines told officers a different man, identified as 38-year-old James Rockhill, of Hobart, battered the homeowner, Gonzales said.

The homeowner was transported to St. Mary Medical Center for his injuries, Gonzales said.

Officers investigating the residence found a red substance consistent with blood throughout the house. Hypodermic needles and packages of a controlled substance were also found, Gonzales said.

Hobart Police have responded to the home in the past for overdose calls and interacted with residents known to abuse controlled substances, including heroin, Gonzales said.

"The Officers of the Hobart Police Department have responded to the residence in the past and they continue to diligently pursue any criminal activity occurring in and around this residence," Gonzales said. "We want the Fraser Lane neighbors to know that we will continue to combat the illegal activities occurring in their otherwise tranquil neighborhood."

Five people were arrested and booked into Lake County Jail with pending charges, which include:

  • Haines and Rockhill, pending charges of battery resulting in serious bodily injury and visiting a common nuisance.
  • Erin Finnerty, 29, of Hobart, and Jennifer Perez, 35, of Lake Station, both pending charges of visiting a common nuisance and battery.
  • Scott Smith, 58, pending charge of maintaining a common nuisance.

"The Hobart Police Department does recognize that people suffer from addictions and we strive to provide resources for those who have unfortunate addictions, but our agency also recognizes that people suffering from addictions must want to take the first step to recovery," Gonzales said. "We will always attempt to balance the needs of our residents and people suffering from addictions."

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Visuals and Online Interactives Director

Kale is a photojournalist and digital producer with the Times. He is a Region native, hailing from Schererville. He shoots photos, writes feature stories and produces Byline, a Times podcast. Email: kale.wilk@nwi.com Phone: 219-933-3393

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