GOSHEN — The man who led a police chase early Sunday morning, March 24, has been formally charged.
Abraham Villegas, 21, has been charged with two counts of criminal recklessness, two counts of criminal confinement, leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in a serious bodily injury, receiving stolen property and causing serious bodily injury while operating a vehicle with an BAC of 0.8 percent or more.
Villegas was involved in a police pursuit because he had stolen $36.72 worth of gas from a Pak-A-Sak gas station, 318 Cavin St., Ligonier, at about 5:05 a.m. The Ligonier Police Department chased Villegas on U.S. 33 into Goshen, and the Goshen Police Department was notified.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Villegas tried to run into police units from the Goshen Police Department twice, at Lincolnway and Keystone Drive, and Lincolnway and Dierdorff Road. Villegas also had near-misses with ongoing traffic, forcing a driver off the road.
Villegas then lost control of his car and crashed against a pole before running into Taqueria San Jose. Villegas then stepped out of his vehicle and ran from police. He was later found at the 300 block of 10th Street and arrested.
Ligonier police obtained a search warrant for a blood draw for Villegas. He tested positive for marijuana and cocaine. He also had a blood alcohol content of 0.9 percent, just above the legal limit of 0.8 percent.
A 15-year-old girl in the car suffered injuries to her knee. She was taken to IU Health Goshen Hospital, where she was treated and released. A 14-year-old boy was also found outside the car as he was trying to flee.
The car was owned by the mother of the 14-year-old. The vehicle had been reported missing Saturday night.
Villegas was booked at the Elkhart County Jail on a $150,000 bond. His initial hearing has been scheduled for Thursday, April 4, in Elkhart Superior Court 3.