La PORTE – An Illinois man was arrested on drug charges early Saturday after a vehicle pursuit ended with the suspect's tires being punctured in downtown La Porte.
Just after midnight Saturday, La Porte County Sheriff's Deputy Derrick Deck was working as part of a DUI Task Force, traveling southbound in the 5000 north block of U.S 35, according to the sheriff's office. He began to travel behind a passenger vehicle, and saw it commit two traffic infractions.
Just south of the intersection of U.S. 35 and Johnson Road, the deputy initiated a traffic stop, and the vehicle stopped along the shoulder of Pine Lake Avenue, according to sheriff's Capt. Derek Allen.
While the deputy was standing near the vehicle, the driver – identified as 23-year-old Nikko Jamel Shack of Dolton, Illinois – suddenly sped off, according to Allen. Deck quickly returned to his patrol vehicle and began to pursue.
The pursuit continued south on Pine Lake Avenue, and as Shack's vehicle approached the intersection of Pine Lake Avenue and Lincoln Way, Deputy Justin Phillips deployed a tire deflation device on the roadway, puncturing the two front tires on Shack's vehicle, Allen said.
Shack was removed from the vehicle and taken into custody by Deputy Tyler Oberholtzer. Deputy Dan Kesling, who had been responding to assist, later located a bag containing a large quantity of marijuana in the 1300 block of Pine Lake Avenue, Allen said.
Arrested and transported to the La Porte County Jail, Shack was charged with felony counts of dealing in marijuana, resisting law enforcement and possession of marijuana, according to the sheriff's office. He remains in the La Porte County Jail on a $15,005 cash-only bond, and is scheduled to appear Wednesday in La Porte County Circuit Court.
La Porte City Police officers assisted in the arrest of Shack.
The DUI Task Force is a grant program funded by federal monies and administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, which allows deputies to work overtime to improve traffic safety, Allen said. The primary goal is to identify and remove impaired drivers from the road.