PORTAGE — A South Bend man and juvenile companion from Mishawaka were arrested Thursday after they crashed a stolen car and fled Portage cops, police said.
Sirlandon Douglas, 20, was driving a 2019 Ford Fusion eastbound at a high rate of speed on Mulberry Avenue shortly after 11 a.m. when he lost control and struck a NIPSCO pole, breaking it, and a fire hydrant near Lois Street, police said.
Witnesses told police they saw Douglas run from the car, then run back to tell his passenger, an underage boy, to run as well.
Police began tracking the two through the surrounding neighborhoods, including calling on police K-9 Diablo to track the two.
Officers initially caught up with the pair in the area of Mulberry Avenue and Monnier Street. The two appeared to be surrendering, approaching the officer with their hands up, according to a police report.
As a second officer was handcuffing the juvenile, Douglas "sprinted eastbound" on Monnier Street, according to the report. Police began a foot chase, with Douglas and officers jumping over neighborhood fences until the officer in pursuit got his pant leg tangled in a chain link fence, causing him to trip and twist his ankle.
The K-9 officer spotted Douglas a few minutes later running behind a business in the 2800 block of Willowcreek Road. The officer told Douglas he was going to unleash Diablo, but Douglas reportedly refused to obey the officer's orders. Diablo was unleashed and apprehended Douglas by biting him on his left forearm.
Police learned the car, which had a Florida license plate, was reported stolen out of South Bend. Police said they also found small bags of marijuana along the trail of the chase.
The Mishawaka boy was transported to Porter County Juvenile Center and is facing charges of criminal trespass. Douglas was transported to Porter County Jail and is being charged with misdemeanor counts of criminal trespass, resisting law enforcement and possession of marijuana.