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A Michigan City woman struck a police officer with her car during a traffic stop and then led police on a three-county chase, reaching speeds of up to 120 mph before stop sticks eventually slowed her down, according to Indiana State Police. 

The Gary police officer that was hit suffered minor leg injuries.

At about 10:45 p.m. Saturday, an Indiana State Trooper pulled over a woman later identified as 37-year-old Michigan City resident Tabitha S. Fidanza on Interstate 65 for a minor traffic stop.

Fidanza, who later turned out to have several warrants out for her arrest, would not identify herself and pretended to be her sister, according to a news release. 

When asked to get out of her sedan, she fled the scene, hitting a Gary officer as she sped off. Police said she reached speeds of 120 miles per hour while fleeing south on Interstate 65, continuing south through Newton and Jasper counties.

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Police set up stop sticks, which deflated one of her tires, forcing her to slow down, according to police. She continued to flee through a construction zone on the interstate while being pursued by officers from the Indiana State Police, the Gary Police Department, Lake County Sheriff, Crown Point police, DeMotte police and the Jasper County Sheriff's Office.

More police joined in the pursuit, and deployed more stop sticks, deflating three of her four tires.

She was arrested on a LaPorte County warrant for failure to appear on a charge of theft, a Porter County warrant for failure to appear on a charge of possession of a syringe and on preliminary charges of battery, resisting law enforcement, false informing, reckless driving and refusal to identify.

Fidanza was taken to the Lake County Jail and her car was impounded.

She is being held without bond, according to the Lake County Police Department.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.