Man facing charges after crashing into vehicle, stealing it with three people still inside

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("Handcuffs" by Victor, CC BY 2.0)

A man is facing several charges after crashing into a vehicle, then stealing it with a woman and children still inside in St. Joseph County Monday.

Police first responded to the accident at Sample Street and Main Street in South Bend, where officers found a silver Honda Odyssey in the middle of the intersection with significant damage to the front of the vehicle.

The victim of the crash told police he was waiting at the intersection in his Ford Flex when the driver of the Honda, later identified as James Brown, smashed into the back of his vehicle. He got out of his Ford to check on his wife and their two sons when he saw Brown trying to leave the scene.

The victim told Brown he needed to stay at the scene. Brown then came up to him, pushed him out of the way, and jumped into the Ford. He drove off with the victim’s wife and two children still inside the car.

The victim’s wife later told police that Brown hopped into the vehicle and sped toward Michigan Street. He told her, “I am going to kill all of you, you are all going to die today”, as reported in court documents.

When they reached the intersection of Michigan and Sample streets, the woman reached over and turned off the vehicle. After fighting with the woman, Brown jumped out of the car and left.

A witness told police that Brown ran into the Deliverance Cathedral building on S. Michigan Street.

Brown was located and taken into custody, where he was positively identified as the driver of the Honda and then the Ford.

Brown was taken to Memorial Hospital where he informed medical staff that he had used “meth and weed.”

Brown was ordered held without bond at the St. Joseph County Jail and is facing the following charges:

  • Robbery (Level 5 Felony)
  • Three Counts of Criminal Confinement (Level 2 Felony)
  • Three Counts of Intimidation (Level 6 Felony)
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident (Class B Misdemeanor)
  • Auto Theft (Level 6 Felony)
  • Battery (Class A Misdemeanor)

Brown will appear in court tomorrow, Sept. 25, for his initial bail hearing and arraignment.

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