AP NEWS

SUV crashes into MC home

January 3, 2019

MICHIGAN CITY – A woman who crashed an SUV into a west side home and “completely destroyed” its wooden porch is facing numerous charges after refusing to cooperate with authorities, according to police.

Michigan City Police were called about midnight to a report of an SUV crashing into a house near 8th Street and Grant Avenue, and the driver running away.

Officers found a black Ford Explorer in the intersection that was “totaled,” according to a police report. At the home on 8th Street, the wooden front porch “was completely ripped off the residence and debris was all over the area,” including the yard and street, police said.

The vehicle had also struck the wood fence around the property, as well as a street sign and stop sign, both of which were “knocked down and lying on the ground.”

Police said it appeared the SUV was westbound on 8th Street at a high rate of speed when it left the roadway, first colliding with the front porch, then striking the fence, going across yard and crashing through the fence again, before colliding with the signs and coming to a stop in the intersection facing south on Grant.

Witnesses said they heard several loud bangs, and saw two women get out of the vehicle, one of whom was standing next to the vehicle, then walked away when emergency crews arrived. A Michigan City firefighter followed her along 8th Street until police arrived.

The woman, later identified as 30-year-old Jerika Lashay Williams of Michigan City, resisted and struggled with police, and finally “had to be taken to the ground,” the report said.

She struggled with the officer, knocking his body-worn police camera off, before she could be restrained and cuffed, the report said. The officer was later treated at Franciscan Health Michigan City for a back strain.

Once in the squad car, “she jumped from the back seat to the front driver seat while still handcuffed behind her back” and the officer “feared she was going to steal the squad car, which was still running,” the report said.

She first told police she was driving but didn’t hit anything, then said she “hit something, but not a house,” the report said. Police said she smelled of an alcoholic beverage, her speech was slurred, her eyes were glassy and bloodshot and her balance was unsteady.

At the police station, Williams refused to walk into the booking area and had to be dragged; then fell to the ground and wouldn’t move. Police said it was “apparent that she was under the influence of alcohol” but was not charged with OWI “because she wouldn’t cooperate with any of the process to complete that charge.”

She was arrested and charged with misdemeanor counts of leaving the scene of an accident, resisting law enforcement and driving while suspended, police said.

She was being held in the La Porte County Jail without bond, with a hearing scheduled for Wednesday in Superior Court 4. Court records show Williams has been arrested at least six times for driving with a suspended license or driving without a valid license.

Police said the home that was struck appeared to be a rental property, which was unoccupied at the time. The owner, who does not live in the city, has been notified.

—From staff reports

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