Milwaukee man shoots at Toll Road Trooper

LAKE CO. – On Monday, June 27th at approximately 3:20 p.m., a trooper working on the Indiana Toll Road stopped to check on what he believed to be a disabled vehicle at the 3.8-mile marker, near the Calumet Avenue exit ramp.

As the trooper approached the vehicle, a teal 1993 Ford Escort, he observed that the vehicle did not have a license plate attached to the rear of the car. The driver saw the trooper and sped away at a high rate of speed. The trooper returned to his vehicle and attempted to catch up to the vehicle and initiate a traffic stop, but the driver failed to stop, and a pursuit was initiated.

The pursuit continued into Hammond before returning to Toll Road where the driver traveled east from Calumet Ave. The pursuit continued to Cline Ave. where the vehicle briefly exited. The driver then made a U-turn and began to head eastbound in the westbound lanes. As the driver was turning, shots were fired by the suspect out the window at the trooper. The trooper initially pursued the vehicle, however, due to the traffic conditions, he terminated the pursuit.

A short time later, 911 calls reported a crash involving vehicles in the westbound lanes near the 12.2 mile-marker of Indiana Toll Road.  Callers reported a male suspect fled from a teal Ford carrying a handgun. Troopers from the Lowell and Toll Road Posts, as well as officers from the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Gary Police Department, and the Hammond Police Department, responded to the scene. The Lake County Sheriff’s Department Aviation Unit was also requested to assist in the search for the armed suspect. Several K9 units from each agency also responded to the scene to help with the search.

During the search, an ISP K9 handler and another trooper spotted the suspect under a bridge a short distance from where the crash took place. The suspect was naked and was seen jumping into the Little Calumet River while holding a handgun. The suspect then swam across the river and attempted to hide in the tall cattails.

The Lake County Aviation Helicopter was able to observe the suspect from their overhead location and maintained visual contact as the suspect attempted to swim away from the officers. After an extended amount of time in the water, the suspect finally emerged from the river and was taken into custody by ISP troopers. He was given clothes to put on, handcuffed, and transported to Northlake Hospital in Gary for medical clearance. Once cleared, he was transported to the Lake County Jail for processing.

The suspect, Carlos R. Santiago, 38, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is being held at the Lake County Jail. Charges are currently pending approval by the Lake County Prosecutor’s office. Santiago was also wanted for questioning involving a police investigation in Milwaukee, WI. The Indiana State Police does not have any further information on that investigation.

FSgt Hostetler
Lt. Deven Hostetler

Lt. Deven Hostetler, Area II Investigative Commander for the Indiana State Police, stated that he was “Extremely appreciative of the effort made by all the responding agencies, in particular the Lake County Aviation Pilot, in locating this violent individual and removing him from the streets in a quick amount of time. The helicopter was instrumental in maintaining eyes on the suspect.” 

Judge: Criminal case can proceed against NW Indiana sheriff
Sheriff Oscar Martinez

Sheriff Oscar Martinez also wanted to add, “I am extremely proud of all the hard work everyone played in bringing this dangerous individual into custody.  I thank God that everyone is safe and went home to their families. It is collaborative efforts like these that make Lake County safer for our citizens.” 

The crash that occurred because of the driver going the wrong way resulted in patients being transported to local hospitals for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.