A 27-year-old Chicago man was arrested and a ghost gun was recovered after a pursuit that ended in Illinois, according to Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr.
At around 11:24 a.m., a Lake County police officer observed the driver of an SUV talking on a cell phone with his seatbelt unfastened. The officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop near 24th and Grant Street in Gary.
When the officer approached the car and began speaking with the driver, he noticed the smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle. The driver admitted to having smoked wrapped marijuana cigarettes, which he pulled from the ash tray of the SUV, police said. The driver told the officer he had no identification.
The officer asked the driver to step out of the vehicle, but the driver shifted the SUV into drive and accelerated, fleeing westbound on 24th Avenue. The officer initiated a pursuit and observed a backpack being tossed from the SUV near 23rd Avenue.
The SUV headed westbound on I-80/94, where officers attempted a maneuver to stop the SUV safely, but the driver swerved at police patrol vehicles to continue to try to get away.
The SUV continued onto the Bishop Ford Freeway heading toward Chicago. Several police vehicles surrounded the SUV, boxing it in, and forced the driver to stop near the 130th Street exit.
The driver was identified as a 27-year-old male from Chicago. He was placed in custody and was taken to a holding facility in Illinois pending extradition. Investigators learned he had a pending felony drug case on his record. He now faces multiple charges including felony resisting, dealing marijuana and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Officers recovered a loaded firearm commonly known as a “ghost gun” with no serial numbers and some suspected marijuana from the SUV. An Indiana State Police officer retrieved the backpack that had been thrown out of the SUV during the pursuit. Officers discovered suspected marijuana and edibles believed to be infused with controlled substances inside the bag.
A 29-year-old Hammond woman who was a passenger in the SUV was released.