HOBART — Following a high-speed chase through multiple towns, officers found a 3-year-old girl in the backseat of the fleeing vehicle, police said.
Around 8:20 p.m. Thursday Hobart officers were parked at the American Legion at 200 South Linda Street when they saw a Dodge Challenger Hellcat peel off at a high rate of speed in front of them, said Hobart Capt. James Gonzales.
The officers drove to catch up with the vehicle and attempted to pull the Dodge over for a traffic stop on Route 6, however the driver sped away, refusing to stop, Gonzales said.
The chase continued into Portage on Airport Road heading north to Central Avenue. The driver then drove east on Central Avenue to Hamstrom Road, where he went north.
However, once the suspect struck railroad tracks at a crossing, he lost control of the vehicle and caused the Dodge to "bottom out," damaging it so badly it was not driveable, Gonzales said.
Police took two males in custody, however the passenger was released. It was then discovered the driver, a 23-year-old Illinois man, had his 3-year-old daughter in the backseat.
First responders tended to the girl and she was checked out by medics, ultimately being released to her mother unharmed.
Police said the man was not intoxicated, had no warrants, had a valid driver's license and the vehicle was not stolen. Gonzales said the man's motive for fleeing from police is unknown.
The driver was booked into Hobart City Jail, where he awaits formal criminal charges being pressed.