STEUBEN CO. – A Jasper County man was apprehended after a lengthy vehicle pursuit Tuesday afternoon.
The incident began at approximately 1:30 p.m. near the I-69 and the State Road 120 SR-120 interchange after an Indiana State Trooper found a GMC Sierra pickup with a stolen license plate.
The trooper initiated a traffic stop on Old 27 near State Road 120, but the driver sped off, initiating a vehicle pursuit that would run through central Steuben County for nearly a half-hour, running off-road several times through fields and wooded areas around Crooked Lake, crashing through a fence, running over a mailbox, and nearly striking one of the troopers.
Other troopers, along with deputies from the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department joined in the pursuit at various locations to assist with apprehending the driver.
Officer’s coordinated their efforts, taking every opportunity to employ de-escalation tactics to confine and attempt to safely end the pursuit. Stop sticks were deployed at several different locations, but the driver managed to avoid each attempt.
Officers ahead of the pursuit were finally able to successfully deploy stop sticks on County Road 600 West north of US20, which deflated the truck tires.
The driver continued driving on flat tires for a short distance, but eventually, his vehicle became inoperable near County Road 650 West and US 20.
A felony traffic stop was conducted and the driver 57-year-old Mark Allen Crates, of DeMotte, was arrested without further incident.
Cates was transported to the Steuben County Jail, on charges of resisting law enforcement, habitual traffic offender, possession of stolen property, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, reckless driving, criminal mischief, and criminal recklessness
Senior Trooper Chris Kinsey was assisted by troopers from the Fort Wayne Post, Toll Road Post, deputies with the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department, and Countryside Towing Service.