Law and Order Porter County
March 4, 2013 4:02PM
Sobriety checkpoint set for Friday
Indiana State Police Lowell district, the Northern Porter County Traffic Safety Partnership, and Portage Police will conduct a sobriety checkpoint late Friday evening hours in Porter County. This checkpoint is in conjunction with the Operation Pull Over Blitz No. 74 “Aggressive Driving and Driving Under the Influence” that begins March 8 and runs through March 24.
Drivers that encounter a checkpoint will be required to produce a valid license and registration. Motorists that are not impaired can expect only short delays of 2 to 3 minutes while passing through the checkpoint. If all information is correct and there is no other reason to be detained, they will be released. After the checkpoint, troopers will conduct roving saturation patrols, aggressively seeking impaired drivers throughout the district.
Law enforcement encourages all motorists to call 911, or the closest Indiana State Police post, or police department when they observe another motorist that may be impaired. Be prepared to give a description of the vehicle, location and direction of travel.
Seven bags of cocaine found in car
Justine Maresca, 26, of rural Valparaiso, was arrested for dealing cocaine, a class A felony, and related charges, during a 3:30 a.m. Sunday traffic stop in the 300 block of W. U.S. 30, east of the entrance to the Shorewood Forest subdivision.
Police said Maresca was pulled over for swerving across the center and fog lines while driving as much as 20 miles per hour below the 55 mph speed limit. As she was arrested for misdemeanor drunken driving, police reportedly found seven baggies of white powder - which tested positive for cocaine - in her purse. Police also seized $611 cash.
‘Friends’ knock man unconscious
Two unknown men reported bashed a new “friend” in the head to steal from him at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the victim’s home, in the 300 block of East County Road 1300N, northeast of Chesterton. The 30-year-old victim told police he recently met one of the two, known only as “Clayton,” while filling a Xanax prescription at a Gary pharmacy, and invited him to visit. He brought the second man, who drove a black Isuzu SUV. When the two went to the victim’s to get drinks, the man told police, he followed - then woke up on the floor with a bump on the back of his head around 12:30 a.m. Sunday. His driver’s license, debit card, work ID and health insurance cards and most of his Xanax prescription were gone, according to the police said. The victim, who had slurred speech in addition to the bump, was transported to the hospital to be evaluated.
Burglar left his iPod behind
An iPod left behind at a burglary scene led to the arrest of a juvenile male who previously had dated a resident of the home, in the 600 block of West County Road 600N, southwest of South Haven. The home was entered through an unlocked door between midnight and 8 a.m. Sunday, and several personal electronics and cash were reported taken from the living room. The iPod owner profile led to the suspect, of South Haven, who told police he had the iPod with him the previous night when he visited the girl at her home, although the victims already had told police she was staying elsewhere for the weekend. The juvenile was detained on a felony charge of burglary and for misdemeanor possession of marijuana, reportedly found in his pocket. Police found the stolen property in the victim’s home.
Man says he had no memory of crash
Confronted with the evidence, a 28-year-old Chesterton man, who has not yet been charged, admitted to police that he must have crashed into a squad car in front of the Chesterton Police Department and left the scene. The man said he remembered leaving a bar to go home but nothing else until he woke to discover his vehicle was missing, and he reported it to police at about 1:30 p.m. Sunday. In the meantime, police had discovered the damaged parked squad car at about 2 a.m. in front of 790 Broadway, found parts of a blue Dodge truck which they matched to the pickup in front of the suspect’s home at about 6:15 a.m., and impounded the truck when no one inside the home could be reached. The squad car was inoperable following the hit-and-run crash.
Drunken driver damaged vehicles
Raymond Dennis, 39, of Portage, was arrested for felony drunken driving, with a prior conviction, after crashing into several vehicles at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday outside the No Regrets Tattoo Studio, at 5478 Central Avenue. Dennis told police he lost control turning onto Central from Willowdale Road.
Two run out on restaurant bill
Michael Hutchins, 27, and Dino Bernardi, 24, both of Portage, were arrested for felony theft after refusing to pay a $27.77 bill at about 5:10 a.m. at Denny’s, 6171 U.S. 20. A witness gave police the license plate number on the vehicle in which the pair fled, and police arrested them at Hutchins’ home in the 1900 block of Tonia.