PORTAGE — Gary resident Centrell Ivey collided into another vehicle Monday afternoon, threatened the other driver and stole $160 after saying, "You better give me something," according to police.
Ivey, who claimed his vehicle was hit, told police he was given the money by the other driver. He now faces charges of leaving the scene of an accident and theft, according to the incident report.
A Portage police officer said he was driving west on Lute Road at 3:41 p.m. Monday when he saw Ivey's vehicle driving into oncoming traffic. Ivey, 27, told the officer his vehicle had been struck by another vehicle that fled the scene.
The 31-year-old Portage resident driving the other vehicle told police he was struck by Ivey, who then approached his vehicle yelling with his fists up, police said. The man said after he pulled out his wallet to retrieve his driver's license, Ivey grabbed it, took $160 in cash and threw the wallet back at him.
Ivey then fled the scene, the other driver told police.
A witness with a surveillance video recording of the incident supported the version of events described by the other driver, police said.
PORTAGE — The criminal case against lame duck Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer has been transferred to Porter County after it was passed on by each judge in LaPorte County, according to court records.
A special prosecutor is also being sought in the case, but that won't be decided until the case lands in its new home before Porter Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Thode, according to Meer's defense attorney Scott King.
Meer, who lost his bid for reelection last week just days after the criminal charges were filed against him, is accused of fabricating a story with Michigan City police in an attempt to clear his stepson from a criminal case and frame prosecutor John Lake as a conspirator in his son’s arrest, according to charging documents.
Meer faces five felony counts of intimidation, a felony count of official misconduct as a public servant, and two misdemeanor counts of false informing, according to court records.
Thode's office had not yet received the documents in the case as of late Tuesday morning and thus has not yet scheduled a hearing. Thode is expected to accept the case, according to the court.
The judges in LaPorte County gave various reasons based on potential conflicts of interest for passing on hearing the Meer case.
As a result, a judge has not yet made a determination on the probable cause or details in the case and thus no arrest warrant has been issued for Meer, King said. This has been the approach with other criminal cases in LaPorte County.
Meer is accused of calling then-Police Chief Mark Swistek and claiming that a confidential informant showed up at his home Oct. 14 claiming that Meer's stepson, Adam Bray, who had been arrested just days earlier on drug and gun possession charges, had been set up by authorities and that the sting was "politically motivated." The target was Meer's reelection campaign.
Swistek, who has since resigned with two assistant chief's in the wake the allegations against Meer, discovered that Meer's story was fabricated, according to charges. The claim is that it was an attempt to clear Bray's name and frame prosecutor John Lake as a conspirator in Bray's arrest, according to court documents.
Meer had opposed Lake's 2018 election.
Meer is further accused of lying to police in an attempt to punish the officers involved.
King has called the charges against his client an act of "political terrorism."
The incumbent Democratic mayor, who had been seen as a favorite to win reelection, lost the general election Nov. 5 to Duane Parry, a Republican.
WANATAH — A police pursuit in the Chesterton area late Tuesday morning resulted in the arrest of two people suspected of robbing a bank just a short time earlier in Wanatah, according to police.
The Horizon Bank at 113 W. First St. was robbed at 10:52 a.m., according to the LaPorte County Sheriff's Department.
Officials in that county learned a few minutes later that officers with the Porter County Sheriff's Department were pursuing the two robbery suspects in a vehicle north on Ind. 49 and then west on U.S. 12, police said.
A description of the getaway car had been provided to police by a witness of the robbery.
In addition, the license plate number indicated the vehicle was stolen, according to the Michigan City Police Department. A Porter County officer saw a man and woman in the vehicle as he attempted to stop them.
The man driving pulled into a Speedway gas station parking lot and did not respond to officer's commands, police said. Police saw a woman get out of the vehicle and the man continued the pursuit with officers in chase.
The pursuit came to an end at 11:29 a.m. on U.S. 12 where one person was taken into custody, police said.
A second person, who had been in the vehicle prior to the start of the pursuit, was later taken into custody in the area of Ind. 49 and the Indiana Toll Road, according to police.
The man is facing pending charges of resisting law enforcement, reckless driving and theft.
Employees of the bank were not injured during the robbery, police said.
The identities of the two people taken into custody and more details will be released as they become available.
Come back to nwi.com for more details as they become available.
CROWN POINT — A 20-year-old exchange student attending college in Indianapolis was the driver struck head-on and killed early Sunday by a motorist traveling the wrong way on a local stretch of Interstate 65, according to Indiana State Police.
The deceased man was identified by police as Suhail Saif Suhail Humaid Alderei, who was attending Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
"Notification was particularly difficult as Mr. Alderei's family resides in United Arab Emirates," police said.
Alderei was driving a 2015 Chevrolet Corvette southbound in the center lane of Interstate 65 when he was struck head-on by a silver 2015 Kia that was northbound in the same southbound lane, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene, and the crash destroyed the sports car, police said.
The inside or third lane of the highway was closed at the time of the crash for construction, police said. Two men were in the Corvette at the time of the crash.
The passenger in the Corvette was taken to Franciscan Health Crown Point with nonlife-threatening injuries, police said.
The driver of the Kia, identified as Anna R. Warner, 21, from Beaverville, Illinois, also was taken to Franciscan Health and died as a result of injuries from the crash, police said.
"Alcohol is believed to be a factor in this crash," police said.
Police received a call at 1:34 a.m. that a wrong-way driver had entered northbound I-65 from U.S. 231. Approximately one minute later, OnStar reported a crash, according to a news release from ISP.
Photos posted by state police on Twitter show the Kia smashed into the cement median with the front half of the car crumpled.
The photos show the Corvette's entire front half no longer attached to the rest of the shattered car, except for the engine. It was resting on the side of the road, police photos show.
All lanes of southbound I-65 were closed for a short time near 109th Avenue on Sunday following the crash, police said.