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PORTAGE — A 32-year-old Gary man accused of racing away from police Wednesday along U.S. 20 at speeds reaching 100 mph told a passenger "nuh-uh" when she suggested they stop, according to Porter County police.

Curtis Fields was taken into custody on an existing warrant from Lake County, and a felony count of resisting law enforcement and misdemeanor reckless driving, police said.

The chase began at 12:40 a.m. when a county police officer saw a Chevy Trailblazer traveling westbound on U.S. 20 in the area of Clem Road slow down dramatically and look at the officer while reaching toward the center console, according to the incident report.

The officer began pursuing and noticed he was driving 80 mph in an attempt to catch up, police said. The SUV then entered the eastbound lanes of the highway to pass a truck and was weaving around other vehicles.

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The pursuit continued into Gary and ended in the area of Fourth Street, just west of Jackson Street, where the SUV crashed into the fence of an abandoned house, police said. The driver, later identified as Fields, took off on foot and was later stopped with help of a police Taser.

A female passenger in the SUV said she had just met Fields that day and they were driving to her home, police said. She said they were smoking marijuana and she had told him multiple times to stop during the pursuit.

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Porter/LaPorte County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.