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Man died hours after he was booked into Lake County Jail, records show

Man died hours after he was booked into Lake County Jail, records show

Lake County Jail

Lake County Jail is shown. Fifteen inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, and another 78 are in quarantine.

CROWN POINT — A Lake County Jail inmate died earlier this month, hours after he told police he had overdosed on heroin shortly before his arrest in St. John on drug- and driving-related charges, records show.

Matthew Shank, 37, of Highland, died June 20 after he was taken from the Lake County Jail to Methodist Hospitals Southlake Campus in Merrillville, according to the Lake County coroner's office.

Lake County sheriff's police did not immediately provide information Tuesday about the circumstances that led to Shank being taken to the hospital.

According to a St. John police report, an officer stopped Shank as he turned north on U.S. 41 from eastbound West 77th Avenue because an off-duty police officer reported Shank rear-ended his car in Crete and took off.

The off-duty officer met with the St. John officer on scene before the St. John officer approached the gray Nissan Shank was driving.

Shank admitted he rear-ended another driver in Crete and left the scene because his license was suspended, the report states.

Police searched the Nissan and found two uncapped syringes and two small empty glass bottles packaged in a plastic bag, records show.

Shank told the officer he overdosed on heroin about two hours before the traffic stop and a friend administered naloxone three times before he regained consciousness, according to the report.

Shank was arrested about 11:15 p.m. June 19 and taken to the Lake County Jail about 12:15 a.m. June 20. He was cleared by jail medical staff about 12:45 a.m. and booked into the jail, St. John police spokesman Roger Patz said.

Shank was later charged with unlawful possession of a syringe and operating a vehicle as a habitual traffic offender, both level 6 felonies. He never made an initial appearance before a Lake Criminal Court magistrate.

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Gallery: Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail


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