A Portage man led police on a pursuit Wednesday, going airborne and crashing a stolen vehicle before being arrested.
Portage police say that at around 10:16 p.m. the dispatch center Center received a call from a citizen reporting that a possible auto theft had just occurred at the Car-X Tire and Auto on U.S. Highway 6. The caller told the dispatch center that the suspect vehicle was a red pickup truck last seen traveling eastbound on US Highway 6.
A Portage Police Officer observed a vehicle matching the description traveling northbound on McCool Road near Squirrel Creek Avenue a few minutes later. The officer attempted to stop the vehicle at the intersection of Central Avenue but the vehicle failed to yield and rapidly accelerated. As the suspect vehicle crossed over the railroad tracks just north of the intersection it became airborne and landed around 150 feet north of the tracks. The vehicle then left the east side of the roadway where it struck a telephone pole and four mailboxes before rolling onto its roof.
The driver then crawled out and began fleeing on foot. Additional police responded to the area. A Portage Police K-9 officer was able to track and locate the suspect hiding underneath a pool deck in the backyard of a residence in the 2300 block of Niagara Street. The suspect, who was identified as 49-year-old Danny Lee Slone of Portage, was taken into custody.
Other officers responded to the Car-X and discovered that the business had been burglarized and the truck in the pursuit was stolen from the business. Surveillance footage showed the suspect force entry to the business before breaking into the cash register and stealing money. The suspect then stole the truck that had been parked inside the repair bay. The vehicle was used to ram through the overhead bay door.
Slone was transported to a nearby hospital and medically evaluated before being transported to the Porter County Jail.
Officers retraced the path of the pursuit and recovered several pieces of evidence related to the break in including the stolen money.
Slone faces charges of burglary, motor vehicle theft, two counts of resisting arrest, theft, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, criminal mischief, and leaving the scene of an accident.