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Two arrested after police chase and crash

August 22, 2018

MICHIGAN CITY – Two St. Joseph County men were arrested after a police chase ended in a crash on U.S. 12 Saturday afternoon, leading to a foot chase and recovery of a stolen gun.

About 4:40 p.m., a Michigan City Police officer was on patrol when he spotted a Mercury Santa Fe traveling at a high rate of speed – 54 mph in a 35 mph zone – on Michigan Boulevard near Porter Street, according to a police report.

The officer activated his lights and siren, and attempted to pull over the vehicle as it turned onto eastbound 8th Street, but the vehicle sped up, running several stop signs and reaching speeds of up to 70 mph on 8th.

The vehicle later turned on northbound Liberty Trail, but the driver lost control just before the intersection with U.S. 12 and the vehicle ran off the road on the east side of Liberty Trail. It rolled over going down a hill and came to rest on its wheels in a ditch.

As the officer neared the scene he saw two men – later identified as Travis Logan and Javonte Banks – get out of the SUV and run north along the ditch toward U.S. 12, the report said.

They went through a break in a chain link fence into the parking lot at the ITW Red Head (1919 E. U.S. 12), the report said. When the officer drove into the lot, Logan climbed the fence and continued to run, but the officer caught up to Banks as he tried to climb the fence. Threatened with a Tazer, he then surrendered.

Other officers began to search for Logan and were told he had been seen running north through Beachwalk and towards Lake Shore Drive. He was spotted near Lake Shore and Nevada, tried to run when approached by an officer but was cut off by a second squad car and surrendered, police said.

While the suspects were being pursued, other officers were gathering evidence at the scene of the crash prior to the vehicle being towed. They found a handgun in the center console under a false panel, which was damaged and opened in the crash.

The Charter Arms Bulldog .44 special, loaded with hollowpoint bullets, was later found to have been stolen in South Bend, police said. The Santa Fe was also found to have a false license plate.

Banks – a 19-year-old Mishawaka resident who had an outstanding warrant out of Madison County and no driver’s license – was charged with felony counts of resisting law enforcement with a vehicle, and theft of a handgun; and misdemeanor counts of carrying a handgun without a license, resisting, criminal recklessness, and driving without a license, police said. He was also given eight moving citations.

Banks was being held on a $755 cash bond.

Logan, an 18-year-old South Bend resident, was charged with misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, and police said he had a prior arrest for auto theft. He was being held on a $605 bond.

—From staff reports

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