On December 26, at 10:45 AM, Sergeant Andrew Hahn was stationary in the median of SR 2 in the 3500 east block monitoring traffic. He observed a red pickup truck traveling westbound on SR 2 that appeared to be occupied by a male driver and female passenger. As the truck passed, Sergeant Hahn noticed the driver appeared to keep his face obstructed in what seemed to be an attempt to conceal his identity. While traveling behind the truck, Sergeant Hahn completed a registration check on the license plate that was affixed to the truck. He received an alert on the computer return advising the female registered owner was a wanted person.
Sergeant Hahn attempted to initiate a traffic stop on SR 2 near CR 150 East, however the driver refused stop. The truck continued westbound on SR 2 and slowly came to a stop west of Whitehead Road. Prior to approaching the truck, Sergeant Hahn gave the driver and passenger several commands. While doing so, the driver suddenly sped off.
Sergeant Hahn pursued the truck on several streets in La Porte. Near the intersection of Factory and Boston Streets, the truck stopped and the female exited. The female passenger was immediately detained by Deputy Bobby Greer. The truck sped off again. Now on Bach Street near Pulaski Street, the truck abruptly stopped in the roadway causing Sergeant Hahn to swerve to avoid striking the truck. While now along the driver’s side, he immediately recognized the driver as Travis E. HATCHEL (35 YOA / South Bend).
HATCHEL sped off again and the pursuit eventually traveled onto Pine Lake Avenue. As the truck continued southbound on Pine Lake Avenue south of Waverly Road, La Porte City Police were able to successfully deploy a set of tire deflation devices, striking the right front and left rear tires of the truck causing both tires to deflate. However, HATCHEL continued to drive the truck on several more city streets.
While traveling north on Rumely Street, just north of Division Street, the truck abruptly stopped and HATCHEL fled on foot. Seconds later near the intersection of Division and Henry Streets, Deputies Austin Epple and Josh Smith took HATCHEL into custody.
HATCHEL was transported to Northwest Health – La Porte campus and after being medically cleared for incarceration, was transported to the La Porte County Jail (LCJ).
HATCHEL was arrested for the following offenses:
- Resisting Law Enforcement, L6 Felony
- Possession of Methamphetamine, L6 Felony
- Resisting Law Enforcement, A-Misdemeanor
- Driving While Suspended, A-Misdemeanor
- Reckless Driving, C-Misdemeanor
HATCHEL remains housed in the LCJ and is being held without bond.
The female who exited the truck during the pursuit was not the wanted person. She provided a statement and thereafter was given a ride to her residence.
Assisting: Deputy Andy Morse
Arrests and criminal charges are mere accusations. Every person is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.