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Car crashes into LaPorte apartment building

Shelly Knight, of LaPorte, points to damage caused by a car striking the outside of her apartment Sunday night in the 300 block of Park Street.

LAPORTE — A LaPorte man allegedly struck an apartment building Sunday night with his sports car, then fled on foot, but it wasn’t long before he was located and taken away in handcuffs.

Joseph Dennis, 32, was being held Monday in the LaPorte County Jail on $305 bond.

According to LaPorte police, Dennis was arrested for leaving the scene of an accident, driving on a suspended license and no proof of insurance.

A portable breathalyzer revealed a blood alcohol level above the legal limit, police said.

The impact was strong enough to push in the outside masonry wall and window frame above it.

Shelly Knight said her belongings had been knocked over and her furniture slid across the floor.

She also put on some extra clothing to stay warm because of cold air filtering into her first floor apartment through gaps in the damaged wall.

"It shook the whole house," Knight said.

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About 8:30 p.m., police said, Knight and other residents of the building at 333 Park St. felt and heard the crash.

A man later identified as Dennis was seen getting out of a Dodge Charger with a severely damaged front end, police said.

He announced he was OK and left on foot.

Police located his mother after seeing her name on the vehicle registration and told her about the crash.

Less than an hour later, police said she called back, saying her son had just returned home. He was sweating and out of breath.

Police said Dennis initially denied any involvement, then admitted being the driver.

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