Semi driver Tasered, taken into custody after NW Indiana chase
FOX 32 NEWS - A wild police chase across Northwest Indiana left a trail of destruction and only ended after police shot out the tires of the semi-tractor trailer.
"We had a semi chase across the entire city of Hammond, right around lunch today. I got out of my house which is one of the neighborhoods that was affected, I saw a media helicopter, a police helicopter and about 30 police officers chasing a semi. It like it was like a scene out of the Blues Brothers," said Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott, Jr.
Near the end of the chase, the semi was riding on its front rims and screaming down residential streets.
"I'm surprised he made it this far, because he was all the way down there, still trying to drive on no tires, like two of them were out completely, no rubber or anything," said witness Penny Rootes.
She was coming home from grocery shopping and saw the truck stopped right in front of her house.
"All the police are here, the tow trucks, they just broke in the window, pulled the guy out," Rootes said.
The chase, which began in Whiting, Indiana, around 10:45 A.M. Monday, lasted nearly an hour. Several cars were hit, including two Hammond Police cars. At one point during the chase, police threw out stop sticks that are designed to puncture tires.
But they didn't work, so police had to resort to extreme measures.
"Towards the end of the pursuit, three of our officers actually fired gunshots at the vehicle trying to stop it, trying to get the tires because of the severity of the situation," said Hammond Police Lieutenant Richard Hoyda.
On Orchard Street where the chase ended, the tire marks and scrape marks from the rim could be clearly seen down the wrong side of the street.
Hammond Police policy allows officers to shoot at vehicles if they believe the circumstances warrant it.
"We had to stop the truck," said Mayor McDermott, who added that he believes the officers did the right thing in shooting out the truck's tires.
"None of the weapons were fired into the cabin, none. The gentleman was tased and brought out. It was simply in an effort to stop the semi because he could've hit somebody, he could've t-boned a car, he could've hit somebody crossing the street," McDermott said.
The driver, identified as a 44-year-old man from Jacksonville, Florida, remained in police custody Monday night. Charges are pending.