A LaPorte County sheriff's deputy was dragged 50 feet while hanging onto the vehicle of a Portage woman who fell asleep behind the wheel on U.S. 20 in Kankakee Township, according to a police report.
“I immediately jumped on the side step and held onto the driver's door, shouting to the female to stop, but the vehicle kept driving,” the deputy said in the police report.
The driver, Amber Wolfe, 36, was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a blood alcohol level of 0.15 and operating while intoxicated with endangerment, according to police reports.
At 1:09 a.m. Sunday police responded to a disabled vehicle in the 5000 West block of U.S. 20 in Portage. When the deputy located the car sitting in the eastbound lane, he found an unresponsive woman behind the wheel, according to the report.
The deputy knocked on the window and shouted to get Wolfe's attention, however she did not wake up. Through the window, the deputy saw that the vehicle was in drive and Wolfe had her foot resting on the brake pedal.
After opening the door, the deputy said he could immediately smell alcohol. Wolfe then awoke from the door opening.
“As soon as she awoke, I identified myself and she acted as if she did not hear me, as if I was not even present,” the deputy said. “At that time, the female depressed on the gas pedal, causing the vehicle to accelerate.”
It was then that the deputy jumped on the side step of the vehicle and was dragged 50 feet while shouting for Wolfe to stop the car, police said. Finally he was able to reach into the car and put the vehicle into park.
Upon handcuffing Wolfe, the deputy noted that she was unsteady and her breath smelled of alcohol. According to the report, there was an unresponsive man lying in the back seat.
Wolfe told police she and her husband were on their way home from a retirement party. A portable breath test revealed that she had a blood alcohol content of 0.157 and was transported later to LaPorte County Jail. The man in the backseat was driven to a nearby gas station to be picked up by family.