LAKE COUNTY, Ind. – An Illinois man was arrested after a pursuit on I-65 Wednesday afternoon, according to the Indiana State Police.
At approximately 3:15 p.m., a trooper was patrolling I-65 southbound near the scale barn. This is approximately 3 miles north of State Road 2 (exit 240). A citizen notified the trooper of a vehicle that was traveling at 5 mph in the right lane. The trooper located the vehicle traveling 8 mph in the right lane and attempted to make a traffic stop on the vehicle to investigate the circumstances of the extremely slow speed.
The driver failed to stop and instead sped away. A pursuit was initiated as the vehicle’s driver refused to stop. The pursuit continued southbound where the vehicle, a white 2023 Chevrolet Silverado, almost struck a parked semi, with pedestrians standing outside of the semi, as it was disabled on the right shoulder.
Several attempts were made by troopers to deescalate the situation by using stop-sticks; however, those attempts were initially unsuccessful. Another attempt to deploy stop sticks was successful with the driver side tire deflating. The driver continued to flee southbound at approximately 10 mph and as another trooper attempted to deploy stop sticks, the driver of the Chevrolet appeared to intentionally swerve towards the trooper. The pursuit continued southbound where the suspect vehicle proceeded to intentionally ram a state police car. The vehicle was then forced to drive into the median near the 238 mile-marker. The driver initially stopped, and as troopers approached the vehicle, the driver suddenly accelerated driving towards the officers while ramming their police cars.
The suspect then drove northbound in the southbound lanes, but due to a large traffic backup, was forced to drive into the west grassy ditch. While attempting to drive back onto the interstate, the suspect rammed a Jasper County Sheriff’s Department police car four times until the suspect vehicle became disabled against the police car. As troopers approached the vehicle to take the suspect into custody, a police K9 was deployed. The suspect was then placed into handcuffs and arrested. He was later transported to Franciscan Health Hospital in Crown Point for treatment of minor injuries. Three troopers were also treated at the scene for minor injuries but were not transported. Three state police cars were damaged by the suspect ramming the vehicles during the pursuit.
The suspect has been identified as 45 year-old Thomas J. Sanhamel from West Chicago, Illinois. He has been incarcerated at the Lake County Jail on a preliminary 48 hour hold for charges to be determined by the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office.
The incident is still being investigated.