PORTAGE — A Gary man turned a potential misdemeanor arrest into a felony charge early Sunday by allegedly leading police on a high speed chase from Portage to Valparaiso that exceeded 100 mph at times.
"I have no license and I've been smoking weed in the car," Elie Holloway reportedly told police after he was apprehended. "I knew I was gonna go to jail."
Holloway, 33, was taken into custody on a preliminary felony count of resisting law enforcement with a motor vehicle and misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and possession of marijuana, according to the incident report. He was also cited with driving with a suspended license.
Portage police said they noticed Holloway's 2018 Ford Escape with Illinois plates at 2 a.m. Sunday eastbound on U.S. 20 without working tail lights. The officer said he activated his emergency lights as the vehicle pulled into the Zip Foods store parking lot at the intersection of Old Porter Road, but the vehicle then took off east on U.S. 20 at a high rate of speed.
The pursuit continued to Crisman Road where Holloway turned south and continued south on Willowcreek Road where he exceeded 100 mph and ignored traffic lights at crossroads, police.
Holloway continued south to County Road 700 North where he turned east and then south on Calumet Avenue toward Valparaiso where police made an unsuccessful attempt to puncture his vehicle tires using stop sticks, according to the incident report. He continued driving at a high rate of speed west on Institute Street, south on Napoleon Street and east on Indiana Avenue where his vehicle jumped the curb at Garfield Avenue and damaged a tire.
Holloway and a female passenger fled the vehicle while it was still moving and were taken into custody a short time later with the help of a Porter County K-9 unit, police said.
Police said they found marijuana in the vehicle.
The female passenger, Daneen Gibbs, 29, of Portage, told police she did not know Holloway's real name and had only recently met him at a nightclub, according to the report. She said Holloway told her he was not going to pull over and told her to leave the vehicle when he slowed in the Zip Foods parking lot in Portage.
She said she told him multiple times to stop the vehicle during the pursuit and fled in the end at his instruction, police said.
Gibbs was arrested on a preliminary misdemeanor charge of resisting law enforcement.