Indiana State Police to Investigate Shooting in Starke, La Porte Counties


Troopers from the Indiana State Police will be taking over the investigation of a shooting incident Thursday afternoon that started in North Judson and ended in La Porte County.

According to police, at about 4:05 p.m., a North Judson police officer recognized the driver of a vehicle who was wanted on a warrant. The officer conducted a traffic stop on State Road 10 by the CVS Pharmacy where the driver allegedly gave the officer false information. Police say the driver then fled from the scene.

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Traffic Stop Leads to Pursuit and Arrest

                      Norman Edward Smith

A Chicago man is in custody after leading two La Porte County Sheriff’s Department deputies on a foot pursuit on Saturday.

Deputy Jon Samuelson conducted a traffic stop for a speeding violation in the area of U.S. 20 east of State Road 39. Deputy Samuelson reportedly observed a large amount of credit cards partially concealed near the center console of the vehicle and he also smelled a strong odor of marijuana.

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Area Proms Prompt Law Enforcement to Step up DUI Patrols

With area schools holding their proms and post-prom events within the next month, local law enforcement departments are stepping up DUI patrols throughout their communities. Police will saturate areas around each prom and post-prom site in an effort to cut down on potential alcohol and drug use, with a zero-tolerance policy toward the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages. In addition, those who provide alcohol to minors will be targeted and jailed.

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La Porte County Police Bust Three For Dealing Cocaine, Heroin

Three people were arrested in La Porte County as the result of an investigation into the distribution of illegal narcotics within the city of La Porte. Police arrested the three suspects in a home in the 100 block of Jefferson Avenue. The suspects have been identified as 21-year-old Vandaze Buchanan of Chicago, 23-year-old Brittany Chapman of Chicago, and 26-year-old Brett Tanksley of La Porte.

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Deputy Saves Two Family Pets From Burning La Porte County Home

A house fire in La Porte County late Wednesday morning startled the family, but no one was injured – not even their two pet rabbits that the family was unable to grab before fleeing the burning building.

Three La Porte County fire departments were dispatched to a house fire on Severe Road, east of County Road 100 West, shortly after 11 a.m. CT. A witness said the fire began in the home’s garage before spreading to the rest of the home.

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La Porte County Police Still Searching For Sex Offender

Maurice Ward

LaPorte County officers continue to look for 28-year-old Maurice Ward who is wanted for failing to register as a sex offender. He is also wanted by the Indiana Department of Corrections Parole Board for a parole violation.

Ward is a sexually violent predator and he failed to notify law enforcement of his residence change in Michigan City. Police are now searching for him as warrants have been issued for his arrest.

Ward is described as a black male, 6’3”, and 215 pounds with a tear drop tattoo under his right eye.

He is considered dangerous. If you know of his location, call your local law enforcement agency.

La Porte County Jailer Arrested, Charged With Burglary

Brandon Walker

A La Porte County jailer was arrested after he was caught burglarizing a home for the second time. La Porte County Sheriff Michael Mollenhauer announced the arrest of 33-year-old Brandon A. Walker yesterday, a six-year veteran of the La Porte County Jail.

Mollenhauer said that the Sheriff’s Office received a call on Monday regarding a burglary in the 1600 East block of Coolspring Avenue. When police arrived, they confirmed that a burglary had taken place at the home and immediately launched their investigation.

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Fatal Accident Under Investigation In La Porte County

The La Porte County Fatal Alcohol Crash Team is currently investigating a fatal two-car accident that occurred on Joliet Road, west of Wozniak Road.

Police were summoned to the scene around 7:30 a.m. on Thursday and discovered that Katherine Atkins, 26, of Valparaiso, was dead and three children in her vehicle were injured. Two of those children sustained critical injuries, one with brain swelling and bruising, and were taken to IU Health La Porte Hospital. One was later transferred to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, while the other was taken to Saint Anthony Memorial Hospital in Michigan City.

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La Porte Man Arrested For Dealing Schedule 1 Controlled Substance

A search of a La Porte residence ended in the arrest of a man for Dealing in a Schedule I Controlled Substance as a Class A felony.

Thirty-year-old Marcus Bluitt, a La Porte resident, was arrested after police searched a home at 1003 Indiana Ave. and found prescription medications, marijuana, and a large sum of cash. He is currently held on a $150,000 bond through La Porte Circuit Court.

The operation was a cooperative effort between the La Porte Metro Operations Unit, La Porte Police Department Patrol and Detective Bureau, and the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau. Police say that this operation is an ongoing investigation into drug trafficking, dealing, and distribution in La Porte County, and they expect further arrests as a result of the operation.