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Cops: Car evading police just misses train

January 24, 2019

MICHIGAN CITY – La Porte man wanted on a warrant is facing several new charges after nearly driving his car into the path of a South Shore train while trying to avoid a traffic stop, according to police.

Jeremy Howard, 36, is being held without bond in the La Porte County Jail, facing felony charges of resisting law enforcement, possession of a syringe and possession of a narcotic drug, according to the La Porte County Sheriff’s Department. He also faces a misdemeanor count of driving without ever having a license.

About 4:45 p.m. Monday, a Michigan City Police officer was driving on Michigan Boulevard when he saw a westbound gold Chevrolet Lumina fail to use a signal when turning north onto Vail Street, according to a police report.

Near the intersection of Holliday and Vail, the car crossed the center line and turned west onto Walker Street without using a signal, police said. The officer said the driver “appeared to be trying to evade and lose me,” so he followed and turned on his flashing lights.

The car did not stop, but accelerated to more than 50 mph as it turned onto Tryon Street, then went over 55 mph after turning back onto Michigan Boulevard, the report said. It turned west onto 11th Street and hit 60 mph, blowing two red lights and nearly causing a crash at 11th and Wabash, according to police.

The car continued westbound on 11th at over 60 mph until, as it approached Ohio Street, it was “run off the road by a South Shore train,” the officer said in the report. The car ran over a small metal guard rail near the intersection, but did not strike the train.

It then stopped and the driver got out and ran through a yard between Ohio and Kentucky streets, with the officer pursuing on foot, the report said. When the officer got close, the driver stopped and put his hands in the air, the report said. He was handcuffed and taken back to his vehicle.

After being identified as Howard, the driver told police he “ran because he had a warrant” and had been “on the run” for a month, the report said.

A passenger in the car was searched and released after saying he had been picked up by Howard for a ride to his parents’ house, the report said. He told police they were childhood friends and he wasn’t sure why Howard did not stop the car.

A search of the car turned up a wallet containing four capped syringes, and “part of a Coke can” containing cotton stained with a brown liquid, the report said. Howard admitted the liquid was either meth or heroin, and the syringes were to “shoot up heroin,” according to police.

The substance later tested positive for heroin, police said.

Howard was charged and taken to the jail, where he was also being held on a La Porte County warrant for dealing in a controlled substance, according to the sheriff’s department.

He had been scheduled to appear Wednesday in La Porte Circuit Court on the warrant, and in Superior Court 4 on the new charges. Court information was not immediately available.

—From staff reports

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