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Porter County dad accused of punching juveniles said he was coming to aid of sons, cops report

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David Dalton

David Dalton

CHESTERTON — The 51-year-old Chesterton man taken to jail Tuesday evening on allegations of punching two juveniles during a disturbance at a downtown park reportedly told police he was coming to the aid of his sons and struck out in self-defense.

"David (Dalton) stated multiple times that he was going to do whatever to help his son, who just got jumped by the large group of juveniles," according to Chesterton police.

Dalton faces two criminal counts of battery, one elevated to a felony after police learned one of the juveniles he allegedly struck suffered a broken bone in his face, according to the incident report.

Police from Chesterton, Porter and Burns Harbor responded shortly after 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to Thomas Centennial Park at 105 S. Calumet Road in response to a report of a fight underway. 

Officers found a large group of juveniles and an adult, later identified as Dalton, sitting on the ground.

Dalton said he was trying to figure out what was going on after arriving when the group of juveniles began yelling at him, police said.

One of Dalton's juvenile sons reportedly told police he had been attacked by a large group of juveniles, but he was unable to identify or locate those who allegedly attacked him.

Dalton said he responded to the park after receiving a call from his sons that one of them had been jumped by the other juveniles, police said.

One of the alleged victims told police he was telling Dalton he was not involved when Dalton swung at him once and missed, and then swung again and struck him on the side of the face.

Police said the second alleged victim said Dalton got out of his vehicle and began yelling, "Who hit my son?"

The juvenile said Dalton then struck him in the face with a closed fist.

A witness at a nearby business reportedly told police she saw Dalton shove one juvenile and punch another in the face.

Police said 10 to 15 juveniles were involved in the incident and none but Dalton's sons said anything about a physical disturbance occurring before Dalton arrived.

While being taken to jail, Dalton reportedly told police he acted in self-defense and claimed the large group of juveniles was going to jump him.

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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.

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