Hit and run crash leads to pursuit, arrest in Elkhart

("OSP in the lights" by Oregon Department of Transportation, CC BY 2.0)

A hit and run crash quickly lead to a police pursuit in Elkhart.

Police were dispatched to a reported hit and run crash with injuries Monday, but while enroute, officers noticed a Jeep Compass speeding away from the crash site and running stop signs.

An officer attempted to stop the Jeep on Oakland Avenue, north of Indiana Avenue. Instead, the Jeep fled and came to a dead end on Nadel Avenue at South Shore Drive. The Jeep then backed up into the squad car, causing the airbags in the squad to deploy.

The Jeep then drove through a fence, turned eastbound onto Franklin Street and struck a car.

Officers attempted to set up a felony stop when the Jeep backed up into them, hitting to squad cars. The Jeep then backed into a third squad car that was arriving at the scene.

The driver fled the Jeep on foot, and police were able to detain him.

Police discovered the Jeep was reported stolen out of Mishawaka and the license plate was stolen through the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department.

The driver was identified as Justin Burnett, 34 of Elkhart. Burnett was arrested for Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, Possession of Meth, Resisting Law Enforcement on Foot and in a Vehicle, Leaving the Scene of an Accident and Criminal Recklessness with a Vehicle. He also had two active warrants for his arrest for dealing meth.


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