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MUNSTER — Charges have been filed against a 32-year-old man accused of groping a woman and then crashing his vehicle into a utility pole and garage as he sped away from officers, police said.

Mark Hannigan, of Munster, faces charges of sexual battery, resisting law enforcement, reckless driving, operating a vehicle while intoxicated and operating a vehicle while intoxicated and endangering a person, according to Lake Criminal Court records.

Hannigan is accused of texting the victim and asking if he could stop by to speak with her the morning of Oct. 21. The victim told him she would be drinking coffee on the back patio of her residence.

The victim told police she was standing on the patio in the backyard when Hannigan approached her from behind, assaulted her and then grabbed her head to force her into a kiss.

The woman physically resisted, broke from his grasp, and called police immediately to report the sex offense, court records show.

When Munster police arrived at about 8:10 a.m. in the 1200 block of Melbrook Drive, Hannigan had already fled the scene, records show. 

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While investigating, police saw Hannigan return to the scene in a car, court records show. When an officer attempted a traffic stop, Hannigan sped north on Southwood Drive and east on MacArthur Boulevard, police said.

He reached speeds in excess of 70 mph in a residential neighborhood and did not slow for a stop sign, according to the affidavit. 

When officers caught up with him, they found the man had struck a utility pole in the area of White Oak Avenue and Independence Circle and a garage in the 9000 block of Bunker Hill.

Hannigan "smelled of alcoholic beverages, exhibited slurred speech and his eyes were glassy and bloodshoot," according to the affidavit. 

Hannigan allegedly refused to cooperate with the OWI investigation and refused to submit to any chemical testing, police said. 

He was taken into custody and transported to Community Hospital for treatment of minor injuries, police said.

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