Law and Order Porter County
February 7, 2013 3:54PM
Updated: February 7, 2013 4:50PM
Woman admits forging signatures
A 44-year-old Hanna man contacted police Wednesday after receiving paperwork in the mail stating he owes a mortgage — of which he was unaware — on a home he bought years ago with a woman from a previous relationship.
He said they went through the court system to have his name removed from the mortgage and deed of the house, in the 500 block of East County Road 900N, where he has not lived for “many years.”
Yet, obviously forged versions of his signature appeared in multiple places in notarized documents refinancing the house in 2010, according to police.
Police contacted the other mortgage-holder, the now-42-year-old woman the fraud victim purchased the house with in 2006 and who still lives there. She told police she signed the man’s name, with the encouragement of a Florida loan-servicing company, because it was the only way she could afford the monthly payments. At the time, there was a court order preventing contact between the two parties.
The house, southeast of Chesterton and a short distance south of Interstate 80/90, is assessed by the county at $195,000. County records also list the Hanna man as co-owner.
Teen delays reporting battery
An 18-year-old who arrived at Chesterton High School Tuesday with bruises on her face told the school guidance director and nurse what happened but asked them to delay calling police, saying she feared it would hurt her relationship with her mother. The next day, however, the teen asked school officials to call police because she did not believe her mother would keep her safe from her stepfather.
The teen, who still had visible facial injuries on Wednesday, told police she and the 55-year-old Liberty Township man argued at about 5:30 p.m. Monday about him wanting her to take out the trash. She said he pushed her into a closed screen door and punched her in the face, noting he had pushed her before but this was the first time he had hit her. A friend of the victim was outside at her car and came when she heard the girl yelling, arriving in time to see the blow, according to the police report.
Officers were not immediately able to reach the suspect. The victim arranged to stay with another family member until she felt it was safe to return home.
Buyer of stolen phone returns it
An 11-year-old Schererville boy’s iPhone 4S was reported stolen between 6 and 8:45 p.m. Monday during a multi-school indoor track meet at Wheeler High School.
After the boy’s father repeatedly called the phone number, a 42-year-old Portage man answered at about 8:35 p.m. Tuesday, saying he had bought the phone for $200 from a Craigslist ad about two hours before, making the transaction at a gas station in Gary.
The buyer returned the phone to the boy’s father, who contacted police in the hopes of helping the man get his money back. Police are continuing to investigate.
Man hits child while battering mother
Martin Schaefer-Murray, 32, was arrested at about 8 a.m. Tuesday at his home, in the 500 block of East Jefferson Street, after allegedly kicking and hitting a 30-year-old woman.
The woman was holding a 6-year-old girl at the time, and the girl said the man accidentally hit her in the head, too. The woman admitted throwing an unknown object at the man just before their argument turned physical, police said.
Schaefer-Murray was charged with battery on a person under age 14 and domestic battery in the presence of a minor; both are felony charges.
Man accused of eating marijuana
Kevin Bohney, 25, of Lowell, was arrested for felony obstruction of justice, plus misdemeanor possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, when his vehicle was stopped for expired plates at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday at Lute and Willowcreek roads. The obstruction charge stems from the officer’s belief that Bohney ate an unknown amount of marijuana to prevent police from finding it.