Moving violation leads to chase in stolen U-Haul on Indiana Toll Road

ELKHART CO. – A lengthy pursuit on the Indiana Toll Road of a stolen U-Haul landed an Illinois man in jail after he refused to stop for Indiana State Troopers.

On February 7, 2022, Indiana State Police Dispatch received a call from the Ohio State Highway Patrol informing them that their troopers had been in pursuit of a stolen U-Haul in the Toledo, OH area.  Authorities in Ohio were able to provide identifying information on the vehicle and they also had reason to believe that it was in Indiana.

At approximately 9:02 p.m., Trooper Garrett Tharp located the alleged stolen U-Haul as it traveled westbound on Indiana Toll Road near the 90-mile marker.  This is approximately two miles west of the Elkhart Exit. 

Not the actual vehicle

While Tharp was confirming this was the same vehicle that allegedly fled from troopers in Ohio, he also observed the driver make several moving violations.  When Tharp turned on his red and blue emergency lights on his marked Indiana State Police car to make a traffic stop, the driver of the U-Haul refused to stop and accelerated away in an attempt to flee from troopers.

The driver of the U-Haul fled westbound with troopers in pursuit and at times turned off the lights on the U-Haul.  Near the 72 mile marker, the U-Haul struck stop sticks, deflating both driver-side tires, but did not stop.  The U-Haul continued fleeing westbound, striking another set of stop sticks near the 63-mile marker, deflating a passenger-side tire.

The driver of the U-Haul continued to flee while driving on three rims and throwing sparks from the vehicle.  The U-Haul eventually lost a rear rim on the left side but continued to flee with the rear axle dragging on the left side.

The U-Haul ultimately could not go on and came to a controlled stop after a nearly 54-mile pursuit near the 36-mile marker in Porter County.  The driver, 26-year-old Geramie Evans, of Wheaton, IL was safely taken into custody. 

Evans was taken to a local hospital for a certified test after troopers located suspected marijuana and believed Evans to be under the influence.  While at the hospital a medical issue unrelated to the pursuit was discovered that required Evans to be admitted to the hospital for observation.  While at the hospital, Evans allegedly kicked a trooper and spit on him.

Evans was released from the hospital on February 10, 2022, and was transported to the Elkhart County Jail.  He was booked into the jail at approximately 2:57 p.m. for theft of a vehicle, resisting law enforcement, battery on law enforcement officer, reckless driving, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The Indiana State Police was assisted by the St. Joseph County Police Department, the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office, and troopers with the Indiana State Police Lowell Post.