LOWELL — A search was launched after three people fled from a vehicle that had a firearm and controlled substance inside, police said.
At 6:39 p.m. Friday a Lake County Sheriff’s officer was patrolling near the area of East 81st Street and Interstate 65, when he saw a white Mercury passenger car speeding and passing other vehicles, according to a Lake County Sheriff’s Department police report.
The officer followed the car west on East 181st Avenue when it turned north onto Mississippi Street. The car then made a sudden right turn onto Baldwin Road and made another turn south on Orchard Avenue.
That is when the passengers in the rear of the car jumped out and fled on foot, police reported.
A 17-year-old Lowell resident began to run but then obeyed the officer’s command to stop and return to the car. The officer then searched the driver, an 18-year-old DeMotte resident, who had a box of .22 long rifle ammo in his sweatshirt pocket, police said.
When the officer asked why the other passengers ran, the driver said they fled because one of them allegedly said they had a gun.
When the officer picked the driver’s wallet off the floorboard to retrieve his I.D., he found a pill inside a baggie in the car, which was determined to be a controlled substance called Alprazolam, police said. However, the driver said it did not belong to him. In addition, the officer found silver .22 long rifle revolver in the car, which he was told belonged to another Lowell teen.
A Lake County helicopter and officers from Lake County and Indiana State Police converged on the scene to search for the other three people who ran away.
The aviation unit spotted someone duck under a mobile home and officers found a male hiding underneath. The male was identified as a 17-year-old from Hebron who was on probation through Porter County courts. Police pressed criminal charges and the teen was released to his parents. Police also released the 17-year-old Lowell passenger to his mother.
The two other individuals who had fled were not located.
The vehicle was towed and the 18-year-old DeMotte man, Jonah King, was taken to Lake County Jail. King was charged with possession of a handgun without a license and possession of a controlled substance, the police report said.
The 17-year-old Hebron boy will face a charge of resisting arrest.
Lake County police continue to investigate the incident.
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