Chesterton School Resource Officer Adam Alicea was instrumental in the apprehension of a suspect in a Michigan City shooting, after spotting the man’s vehicle parked at Brummitt Elementary School on Monday, March 6, the Chesterton Police Department is reporting.
According to the CPD, at 10:50 a.m. Alicea was asked by the Brummitt administrative assistant to perform a welfare check on a student’s mother, after the assistant was unable to reach the woman to come for her child, who was feeling unwell.
Alicea was en route to the Fairbridge Inn, 713 Plaza Drive—where the mother and her children were temporarily staying—when he was advised by Assistant Chief Francisco Rodriguez that information had been developed indicating that a suspect in a Michigan City shooting was also staying at the motel, possibly with the woman. Rodriguez advised Alicea “to hold off making contact with (the mother) for safety reasons until another unit arrived to assist.”
Soon thereafter, Alicea received a call from Brummitt informing him that the mother had returned the call and was now en route to collect her child. Alicea returned to Brummitt himself, where he observed a black Chevrolet Impala “parked in front of Door No. 1 in the wrong direction of travel,” the CPD said. That vehicle—driven by a woman and occupied by an adult male in the front passenger’s seat, with body damage and a broken passenger’s side head lamp—matched the description of the suspect vehicle in the Michigan City shooting, the CPD said.
As Alicea was executing a U-turn in the parking lot, in an attempt to read the license plate, the Impala “accelerated quickly out of the parking lot,” and he followed it onto westbound Indian Boundary Road, at which time he obtained a clear view of the plate and was able to confirm through dispatch that it was, in fact, the suspect vehicle in the shooting, the CPD said.
As Alicea followed the Impala onto southbound Ind. 49, he was advised by Rodriguez that the Michigan City PD was requesting a traffic stop on the vehicle. At this point Alicea was pacing the Impala at a speed of approximately 80 miles per hour and made his own request for additional assistance from the CPD, Porter PD, and the Porter County Sheriff’s Police.
A felony traffic stop was made without incident on Ind. 49, just south of C.R. 400N, the CPD said.
Both the driver, the child’s mother, and her passenger, a 31-year-old man, exited the Impala in compliance with officers’ instructions, the CPD said, and the man was handcuffed and detained. Three children in the backseat were immediately removed, given “the possibility of a firearm’s still being in the vehicle,” the CPD said.
The man was transported to Michigan City and placed in the custody of the MCPD. He was subsequently charged with aggravated battery, a Level 3 felony punishable by a term of three to 16 years; and felon in possession of a firearm, a Level 5 felony punishable by a term of one to six years.
The three children were released to the custody of their mother.
According to the probable cause affidavit filed by the MCPD, in the early afternoon of Sunday, March 5, the 31-year-old man shot his cousin in the right leg following a disagreement between the two.
CPD Chief Tim Richardson praised the work of both SRO Alicea and Assistant Chief Rodriguez. “This investigation and subsequent arrest highlight the importance of the excellent School Resource Officer program that the Chesterton Police Department and the Duneland School Corporation have forged and remain partners in,” Richardson said. “SRO Alicea’s keen observation skills on this day led to the timely arrest of the shooting suspect, and within 24 hours from the time of the shooting. Superior communication between Michigan City Police detectives, Assistant Chief Rodriguez, and SRO Alicea made the Duneland area much safer on this day in question.”