Found hiding after high-speed chase

Olajuan Nuttall

MICHIGAN CITY – A Michigan City man wanted on multiple warrants, include dealing in cocaine, was arrested after a police pursuit along residential streets led to a home where he was found hiding in the backyard.

Now, 26-year-old Olajuan Raheim Nuttall is facing a felony count of resisting law enforcement with a vehicle and a misdemeanor count of driving while suspended, according to Michigan City Police.

He is also being held on five La Porte County warrants, charging two felony counts of dealing in cocaine, one felony count of theft, and misdemeanor counts of driving while suspended and giving a false identity.

According to a police report, an officer was northbound on Franklin Street about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday when he saw a black Chrysler traveling southbound that made a quick turn eastbound onto Garrettson Avenue.

The officer followed and the vehicle at first went 40 mph in a 30 mph zone on Garrettson and Oak Street, then turned onto Kenwood Place and Maple Street. A license check showed the vehicle was registered to Nuttall's mother.

The officer activated his flashers and the vehicle stopped in the middle of the road at Maple and Coolspring Avenue, but when the officer got out of his vehicle, the car sped off westbound on Coolspring, reaching speeds of over 50 mph.

It then turned onto Virginia Court, Beverly Court, and Oak Street, averaging 50 mph, police said. It then turned onto Franklin and another squad car joined the pursuit, which reached speeds over 65 mph. The car turned onto Earl Road, Hoyt Street and Chestnut Street, then finally northbound on Bies Street, speeding and running stop signs.

It stopped in the 100 block of Bies and the driver got out and ran toward the house, police said. His mother came outside and was asked if he was home, but she said no, the report said. She at first denied police entry into the home, until Chief Mark Swistek arrived and was allowed in.

Other officers went to search around the home, and found tracks in the snow leading to a trampoline in the backyard, and Nuttall was found hiding underneath. A cellphone, believed to be his, was also found under the trampoline.

Nuttall claimed he was with another person and was not driving the car, according to police, but there was only one set of tracks in the snow and it led directly from the vehicle to the trampoline. He also claimed the phone was not his.

The vehicle was searched and released to Nuttall's mother, while he was arrested and taken to the MC Police Department on the warrants and the new charges. It was also learned that his driver's license was suspended.

He is being held without bond in the La Porte County Jail, with court appearances scheduled for Friday in Superior Court 4, and Tuesday in Superior Court 1, according to the La Porte County Sheriff's Department. 

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