SYRACUSE —A 16-year-old girl apprehended by police and placed in the back of a patrol vehicle managed to free herself from handcuffs and drive away before crashing it and being arrested a second time, investigators said.
Kosciusko County deputies had been attempting to apprehend the teen since May 21. Police said she had removed her Community Corrections ankle bracelet and was listed as a runaway.
On Wednesday night, police received a tip that the girl was on North Majestic Way along the south side of Lake Wawasee. Officers from several agencies were dispatched to the area, police said.
Police received information that the suspect was in possession of narcotics and a firearm.
Upon their initial arrival, officers were unable to locate the vehicle, as it had left the residence. A short time later, dispatch received a call that the blue Hyundai Santa Fe had returned to North Majestic Way.
Syracuse Police Department officers observed the Santa Fe at the residence, at which point the girl drove away from the location, initiating a vehicle pursuit. The Santa Fe was driven through several yards and traveled east on Hatchery Road at a high rate of speed, according to police.
Unable to navigate the curve in front of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Law Enforcement District 1 headquarters, the Santa Fe struck three wooden pillars, a NIPSCO utility pole and a telephone junction box.
The suspect was taken into custody, double-lock handcuffed behind her back and placed into a Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle, according to police. While the girl was in the patrol vehicle, she was able to twist and manipulate a hand out of her handcuffs. She maneuvered into the driver’s seat of the patrol vehicle, turned the vehicle around and accelerated at a high rate of speed, westbound on Hatchery Road.
The patrol vehicle struck a fence and storage building in the 90 degree curve at the west end of Hatchery Road. The suspect fled the patrol vehicle and entered a home on the property of the storage units.
The occupant of the home told officers she overheard the crash and stepped outside. While the occupant was outside, the suspect forced a window open, crawled into the home, took a cell phone and fled through another window, police said.
Officers were able to apprehend the suspect, without further incident, south of the residence.
Turkey Creek Fire Territory responded to the crash and evaluated the suspect, who was released to deputies and transported to the Thomas N. Frederick Juvenile Justice Center, in South Bend, per Kosciusko County Probation. A subsequent search of the Santa Fe revealed paraphernalia with methamphetamine and marijuana.
The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Syracuse and North Webster police departments, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Law Enforcement, Turkey Creek Fire Territory and Kosciusko County Probation.
The girl has been charged as a juvenile with two counts of escape, two counts of resisting law enforcement with a vehicle, one count of auto theft, one count of burglary, one count of possession of methamphetamine, one count of possession of paraphernalia, one count possession of marijuana and one count of theft.