Moped theft suspects led police on chase, shot gun into air near students waiting at bus stops Friday morning, police say


By: Krystal Vivian

Two men were arrested Friday morning, Sept. 11, after police say they shot a gun in the air near bus stops where students were standing while leading police on a chase on a stolen moped.

Tyler Langenderfer, 21, of South Bend, was arrested on a preliminary charge of resisting law enforcement and is being held at the St. Joseph County Jail on $1,000 bond, according to online jail records. Zachary Cowger, 20, of Plymouth, was arrested on a preliminary charge of theft. He is being held on $250 bail.

Officers were called to the 1100 block of Portage Avenue for a report of a moped being stolen from a home, according to Division Chief Scott Ruszkowski with the South Bend Police Department.

When officers arrived, they spotted the suspects — later identified as Langenderfer and Cowger — leaving the home. The suspects tried to get away and led police on a chase in the area of Cleveland and Lincoln Way West, first on a moped and then on their feet.

During the chase, at least one of the suspects shot a gun into the air multiple times near several areas where students were waiting for school buses, Ruszkowski said. No injuries were reported.

Officers eventually caught up with the suspects and arrested them in the area of LaPorte Avenue, Oak Street and LaSalle Avenue at 6:50 a.m. A gun was recovered during the arrest.

Formal charges have not yet been filed.