Randi Lynn Robinson is mad after learning that a Portage woman is facing a felony charge of resisting law enforcement after driving less than a mile to a lighted parking lot before pulling over for a Porter County Sheriff's Department officer.
Robinson said that is exactly the advice she was given by Valparaiso police 24 years ago when she was attacked after pulling over in the city for a man pretending to be a police officer.
"If she did nothing wrong, why are you treating her like that?" she asked.
Robinson, who moved away from the area after running into her attacker in a store after his release from prison, said she was appalled after learning about DelRea Good's pending criminal case.
Good said fear drove her to slow her vehicle, turn on her emergency flashers, waive her arm out the window and drive to the lighted parking lot at the Kohl's store in Portage before pulling over at 11:21 p.m. March 20 for Porter County Sheriff's Department Patrolman William Marshall.
Porter County Sheriff David Reynolds said the incident is under investigation, but he is standing behind his officer's actions and characterized Good as defiant rather than scared as she claims.
Robinson criticized the officer, based on Good's claims that he approached her car yelling and angry about having to call backup when she did not stop.
Robinson said police told her to expect other officers to arrive if she does not immediately stop and that would be a sign she would want to watch for in order to confirm the traffic stop was legitimate.
The advice by police remains as alive with Robinson as the memories of the night of Jan. 4, 1991 when a white vehicle began following her as she drove back to Valparaiso from Lake County. As she crossed south of Lincolnway on Campbell Street, she noticed amber and red lights flashing from the dashboard of the trailing vehicle and pulled over.
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The other driver, later identified as convicted murderer John Timm, walked up to her car with a flashlight, she said.
"I said, 'Could I see your ID,' and he broke the flashlight on my face," Robinson said.
Timm then leaned into the car and attempted to shut off the ignition, but Robinson said she stepped on the accelerator, which threw him out as she drove to the nearby police station covered in blood.
Timm was picked up a short time later and was convicted of battery, impersonating a public servant and criminal confinement. He was sentenced to 12 years behind bars.
"It's still there," she said of the incident. "It still follows me around."
On Dec. 5, 1973, Timm was convicted of the second degree murder of Gayle Nickles in Fish Lake. The body of Nickles was discovered Feb. 8, 1973 by her husband in the nude on her living room floor when he returned home from work, according to court documents. Gayle Nickles had been stabbed 22 times.
Timm was sentenced to life in prison but was out by the early 1990s.
Robinson said there is no way she would pull over again in a dark area for a car with flashing lights and is surprised that 24 years later, police are not trained to be more sensitive to this concern. She said it is not uncommon where she lives to hear about motorists posing as police attempting to stop other vehicles.
Reynolds said this week he supports motorists driving to a well-lighted area if they question who is attempting to stop them. He added that motorists should also call 911 and then convey to the officer why they did not immediately stop.