On December 19, 2017 at approximately 3:40 PM, Michigan City Police Department Uniform Shift Two K9 Officer Michael McLemore and Officer Brian Wright attempted to initiate a traffic stop on a Ford Taurus in the Eastport neighborhood, for a traffic infraction that the LaPorte County Drug Task Force Detectives (LCDTF) had observed. Through the course of their on-going investigation, LCDTF detectives obtained information that this vehicle frequently had been observed with numerous firearms inside. Upon attempting to initiate the stop, the driver of this vehicle refused to stop for officers and accelerated to speeds no greater than 60 M.P.H. during an approximate five-minute pursuit. The suspects were observed throwing a handgun from the fleeing vehicle. Ultimately, three handguns and bag of narcotics were thrown from the fleeing vehicle and eventually recovered by assisting officers. A nearby citizen in the area also observed one of the suspects throw evidence from the fleeing vehicle. One of the recovered handguns was identified as a Glock with an extended high capacity magazine inserted inside it.
The fleeing vehicle eventually crashed at the intersection of Vail and Fir. Four occupants inside the vehicle fled on foot after impact. Three were ultimately captured. The first suspect was quickly apprehended a short distance from the vehicle and complained of pain from the crash. He was identified by officers as 25-year old Michigan City resident DeVonte Williams. Williams is charged with Resisting Law Enforcement, Class “A” Misdemeanor.
The second suspect continued to flee from K9 Officer Michael McLemore after multiple verbal commands were given to stop or his dog would be released. The second suspect ignored Officer McLemore’s verbal commands and ran to another nearby street. The second suspect slipped and fell on leaves laying near the roadway, sliding into the path of an unmarked police vehicle. He was unintentionally struck by the unmarked police vehicle that slid on the same leaves, while arriving in the area to assist with the foot pursuit. The second suspect was apprehended and received minor injuries as a result of the impact. The second suspect was identified as 21-year old Michigan City resident DeAndre Grant. Grant is currently on probation for Armed Robbery. Grant has been charged with Serious Violent Felon in Possession of a handgun, Level 4 Felony, Dealing in a Narcotic Drug, Level 3 Felony, Criminal Recklessness, Level 6 Felony, Resisting Law Enforcement, Level 6 Felony and Resisting Law Enforcement, Class “A” Misdemeanor.
Officer McLemore’s K9 “Chapo” was attacked by a pit bull dog running at large in the Eastport Neighborhood while trying to apprehend Grant. Officer McLemore deployed his Taser on the pit bull in order to stop the attack on “Chapo.” “Chapo” was transported to Purdue Northwest Animal Clinic in Westville, IN for medical attention. “Chapo” was eventually cleared by medical staff and placed back in service. Michigan City Animal Control was contacted who impounded the pit bull running at large. Animal Control is investigating the pit bull running at large with its owner.
The third suspect apprehended was identified as 18-year old Michigan City resident Wayne Witt Jr. Witt Jr. was apprehended several blocks away near the Michigan City Sanitation Department (1100 East 8th Street). Witt Jr. is currently out on bond for Carrying a Handgun without a Permit. Witt Jr. was also complaining of pain as a result of the crash. Witt has been charged with Resisting Law Enforcement, Class “A” Misdemeanor and Possession of Marijuana, Class “B” Misdemeanor.
All three captured suspects were transported to Franciscan Health Michigan City for medical attention after they were apprehended. The three suspects were eventually cleared by medical staff and transported to the Michigan City Police Department. Two officers also sought medical attention for minor injuries sustained during the chase and apprehensions. The Long Beach Police Department, Trail Creek Police Department, and LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department assisted with this investigation.
Chief Mark Swistek would like to remind the public that anyone with information about this crime, or any other crime, can call the Crime Tip Hotline at 219-873-1488.
*All arrested persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law*