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PORTAGE — Police described a tense few moments on Tuesday afternoon when a suspected hit-and-run driver they had at gunpoint failed to cooperate with orders and began reaching into his pockets.

"I had to yell several more times for Carlo (Ernandes) to keep his hands above his head before he would comply," according to the police report.

The 40-year-old Westville resident was then placed in handcuffs at gunpoint.

"While placing him in handcuffs Carlo stated, 'I'm sorry. I got scared,'" police said.

The incident occurred about 3:20 p.m. Tuesday after Portage police responded to a report of a hit-and-run that had just occurred in the area of the Aldi store at 5671 U.S. 6.

Officers spotted the red Dodge pickup heading west on U.S. 6 in the area of Swanson Road and attempted to pull it over noticing it had a flat front passenger tire and was driving on a rim. The truck also appeared to have fresh damage in the front, police said.

The vehicle stopped near Countryside Park and when an officer exited his vehicle, it proceeded into the park and again did a false stop before police blocked in the vehicle.

Police said they pulled out their guns and began ordering the driver, later identified as Carlo Ernandes, to shut off and exit his vehicle.

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"Carlo was speaking on the phone and I told him to drop the phone and put his hands above his head," police said. "Carlo sat the phone down, but started placing his hands into his pockets."

When Ernandes heard on the police radio that two cars had been struck, he reportedly said, "that's not true, I only hit one car," police said.

He is accused of rear-ending one vehicle, which in turn rear-ended another, sending a passenger from the first vehicle to the hospital with chest pain.

Ernandes reportedly told police he consumed one 24-ounce beer and took his prescribed Suboxone earlier in the day. When he refused to have a blood sample drawn, police obtained a search warrant to have the test done.

He was taken into custody and faces various preliminary charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident causing injury.

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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.