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Law and Order Porter County

Updated: November 13, 2012 5:13PM



PORTAGE

Man who threatened tow attacked

Jason Minder, 37, and Lisa Kaplan, 38, both of Portage, were arrested for misdemeanor battery after allegedly attacking a 51-year-old man to whom Minder owed money.

The victim told police Minder was keeping a vehicle on his property and had failed to pay rent. Just before 5 p.m. Sunday, the men met in front of Curley Joe’s Bar and Grill, 2528 Portage Mall, and the victim told Minder he was going to have the truck towed.

Minder then allegedly put the older man in a headlock and Kaplan, Minder’s girlfriend, came out of the bar and hooked her fingers into the man’s mouth and struck him in the throat, leaving visible injuries, according to police.

Both told police the older man pushed them but could not explain his injuries.

PORTER COUNTY

Unwanted hug turned into punch

Donavon Whitten, 41, of rural Valparaiso, was arrested for misdemeanor battery and resisting law enforcement after allegedly hugging aggressively a friend of a friend.

The 24-year-old hug recipient told police that at about 10 p.m. Sunday, he arrived outside Whitten’s home, in the Forest Oaks mobile home park southeast of Valparaiso, to give a friend a ride home. The Chesterton man said Whitten was obviously drunk when he hugged the mutual friend and then asked him for a hug as well.

Whitten reportedly ignored the man’s wish not to touch him and “aggressively hugged” him through the vehicle’s open window, tightening the embrace each time he was asked to let go. When the victim wrangled away, Whitten punched him, leaving him with a swollen and bloody face and a loose tooth, police said.

Man threatens ex over phone

Jesse Haack, 31, of Michigan City, was arrested for felony intimidation after allegedly making threats to kill his ex-wife, her boyfriend and himself.

The 28-year-old Union Township woman went to police at about 11:35 a.m. Monday after receiving at least 10 threatening phone calls from Haack within an hour. He called again while she was with the officer, repeating the threats over the speaker phone, according to the police report.

Haack reportedly was released two weeks ago from an Indianapolis hospital for a prior suicide attempt, and he was upset the woman was dating, even though they have been divorced for two years.

Michigan City police detained Haack at about 4 p.m. at his mother’s home in that city and transported him to the Porter County Jail.

Women falls for prize-winner scam

A 68-year-old Portage Township woman told police she was scammed out of $500 by man who claimed to be with the Federal Trade Commission.

The man called her Oct. 30, saying she won more than $2.5 million but first needed to pay a $500 fee via a prepaid Green Dot Money Pak card, often used for Internet purchases.

The woman bought the card and gave the caller its number over the phone. Over the next weeks, they exchanged a number of phone calls until he told her to mail $5,000 checks to three different people in order to claim her prize.

She called police Saturday after calling the FTC and learning the man was not an employee. She had sent the checks but closed her account before they were cashed.

Teens arrested at drinking party

Police arrested nine people at an underage drinking party at about 12:45 a.m. Saturday in the 200 block of Starlite Court, in the Pleasant Valley mobile home park.

Officers were checking on a complaint of unlocked vehicles being entered when they heard a loud party and saw a group of teens arriving — one was overheard saying, “Don’t forget the beer,” police said.

Three Portage 17-year-olds, two female and one male, were charged with underage drinking, as were Cheyenne Yates, 18, of Portage; Jeremy Colvin, 20, of Dyer; Samantha Udchitz, 18, of Portage; Michelle Lewis, 18, of Valparaiso; Samantha Peek, 18, of Portage; and James Bryant, 18, of Valparaiso.

CHESTERTON

Counterfeit cash used for purchases

Two men reportedly passed $1,100 in counterfeit $100 and $50 bills in separate transactions around the same time Sunday at Kmart, 750 Indian Boundary Road.

Police said both men were wearing pullovers with their hoods over their heads when they bought a television and laptop computers. The first made his transaction at 4:25 p.m. and the second made his purchase at about 4:50 p.m.; the men were not together in the store and did not acknowledge each other.

VALPARAISO

Two men arrested for picking fights

Two men, seemingly intent on getting into a fight with anyone they met, according to police, got themselves and their driver arrested at about 3:25 a.m. Sunday.

Police said Jose Petronilo, 24, and Leonardo Valle-Gutierres, 24, both of Valparaiso, tried to start a fight with a man in the parking lot of Duffy’s Place, 1154 Axe Ave. Another man with them, Delfino Villalea, 24, also of Valparaiso, tried to stop them but, as they got into his white SUV, one of the two reportedly threw a beer bottle through the rear window of the vehicle their target had gotten into.

A few minutes later, another battery involving the occupants of a white SUV and along Axe Avenue was reported. This time, Petronile and Valle-Gutierres allegedly threw a beer bottle at and punched a man walking home from the same bar. The man lost a tooth and his mouth was still bleeding 45 minutes after the attack, police said. Villalea again attempted to stop the two others, police said.

Officers stopped the SUV on U.S. 30 and arrested Villalea for drunken driving and Petronilo and Valle-Gutierres for battery and criminal mischief. The arrested men did not know either of their targets.

Heroin user resuscitated, arrested

A former nurse used CPR to resuscitate her son’s guest, Jordan Brown, 24, of Hobart, when Brown turned blue after possibly overdosing on heroin at about 8:30 a.m. Saturday at a home in the 2300 block of Linden Drive. Brown was breathing again but unconscious when an ambulance arrived to take her to Porter Regional Hospital.

The homeowner allowed a search of her son’s bedroom, during which police reportedly found an assortment of syringes and other drug paraphernalia. After treatment at the hospital, Brown was arrested for felony possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.

Men arrested for dine-and-dash

Two of three men who reportedly ran out on their $8.45 lunch bills, at about 12:40 p.m. Saturday at Dynasty Buffet, 1805 Lincolnway, were arrested. The manager caught Luke Skyllas, 21, of Valparaiso. His brother, Logan Skyllas, 18, also of Valparaiso, eventually turned himself in but neither would give police information on the third man.

Both Skyllases were charged with felony theft.

Pair of drunken drivers crashed

Vicki Anello, 43, of Wheatfield, was arrested for felony drunken driving with a prior, when her vehicle got stuck at about 4:45 a.m. Sunday on the median of U.S. 30, in front of Wal-Mart.

Richard Bettin, 59, of rural Valparaiso, was arrested for misdemeanor drunken driving after rear-ending a vehicle at about 5:05 p.m. Friday at Calumet Avenue and Glendale Boulevard.

Shoplifter steals cold remedies

Justin Weathers, 22, of rural Valparaiso, was arrested for theft and possession of a controlled substance, both felonies, after allegedly shoplifting lip balm, a decongestant and eye drops at about 11:45 p.m. Sunday at the Walgreens at 252 W. Morthland Drive.

The store manager told police Weathers paid for several other items, but those hidden in his pocket were worth $17.97. Police also found six loose pills, of a narcotic painkiller, in his pocket, for which he did not have a prescription.



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