LAKE COUNTY– A Milwaukee man is in custody after police say he shot at a state trooper during a pursuit Monday afternoon.
On Monday at around 3:20 p.m., a trooper working on the Indiana Toll Road stopped to check on what he believed to be a disabled vehicle at the 3.8 mile-marker, which is near the Calumet Avenue exit ramp. As the trooper approached the vehicle, a teal Ford Escort, he observed that the vehicle did not have a license plate attached to the rear of the car. The driver saw the trooper and sped away.
The trooper returned to his vehicle and attempted to catch up to the vehicle and initiate a traffic stop, but the driver failed to stop, and a pursuit was initiated. The pursuit continued into Hammond before returning to the Toll Road where the driver went eastbound from Calumet Avenue. The pursuit continued to Cline Avenue where the vehicle briefly exited.
The driver then made a U-turn and began to head eastbound in the westbound lanes. As the driver was turning, shots were fired by the suspect out the window at the trooper. The trooper initially pursued the vehicle, however due to the traffic conditions, he terminated the pursuit.
A short time later, 911 calls reported a crash involving vehicles in the westbound lanes near the 12.2 mile-marker of the Indiana Toll Road. Callers reported a man had fled from a teal Ford carrying a handgun. Troopers from the Lowell and Toll Road Posts, as well as officers from the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Gary Police Department, and the Hammond Police Department all responded to the scene. The Lake County Sheriff’s Department Aviation Unit was also requested to assist in the search of the armed suspect. In addition, several K9 units from each agency responded to the scene to help with the search.
During the search, an ISP K9 handler and another trooper spotted the suspect under a bridge a short distance from where the crash took place. The suspect was naked and was seen jumping into the Little Calumet River while holding a handgun. The suspect then swam across the river and attempted to hide in the tall cattails. The Lake County Aviation Helicopter was able to observe the suspect from their overhead location and maintained visual contact as the suspect attempted to swim away from the officers.
District 10 Indiana Conservation Officers were requested to respond with a boat to assist. Prior to deploying a boat, the suspect returned to shore and was taken into custody by ISP troopers. Indiana Conservation Officers continued to assist with other aspects of the investigation for several hours.
The man was given clothes to put on, handcuffed, and transported to Northlake Hospital in Gary for medical clearance. Once cleared, he was transported to the Lake County Jail for processing.
The suspect, 38-year-old Carlos R. Santiago, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is being held at the Lake County Jail. Charges are pending approval by the Lake County Prosecutor’s office. Santiago was also wanted for questioning involving a police investigation in Milwaukee. The Indiana State Police did not have any further information on that investigation.
Police said that the crash that occurred because of the driver going the wrong way resulted in patients being transported to local hospitals for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.