On January 20, 2021 at approximately 11:15 AM, a Hobart Officer observed a traffic violation and conducted a traffic stop in the area of 37th Avenue and Colorado Street, according to Captain James Gonzales of The Hobart Police. The officer approached the vehicle and made contact with the driver and the front seat passenger and as he was speaking with them, he could smell a strong odor of marijuana inside of the vehicle. The Officer identified the driver, who was 22 years old from South Holland Illinois and as the Officer spoke to the passenger, the passenger provided the Officer with his name and a date of birth, but when the Officer asked how old he was, the age the passenger gave conflicted with the date of birth he provided to the Officer, Gonzales said.
The Officer confronted the passenger about the conflict of his age and the date of birth he provided to him and he asked the passenger to exit the vehicle. The Officer began to detain the passenger for further investigation and he placed the subject into handcuffs. At the time the Officer was taking the passenger into handcuffs, he ordered the driver to turn off the vehicle. At the time he was ordering the driver to turn off the vehicle, he was positioned outside the passenger side of the vehicle and the passenger side door was open. He ordered the driver to turn off the vehicle again, but the driver refused, so the Officer began to enter the vehicle to try and turn off the vehicle. The passenger then fled from the scene handcuffed and the driver placed the vehicle in drive and began to drive off with the Officer half way inside the vehicle. The Officer continued to order the driver to stop and he eventually did, but he refused to abide by the Officer’s orders, by not turning off the vehicle. The Officer deployed his taser, but the driver of the vehicle was able to exit the vehicle and flee from the Officer.
The passenger was found fleeing on foot through the Speedway Gas Station parking lot and was taken into custody by Lake Station police. The passenger was identified as a 19-year-old male from South Holland. After a short foot pursuit, the driver of the vehicle was also taken into custody. The Officer suffered minor scratches during this confrontation.
A 17-year-old juvenile subject, who had no relationship to the initial investigation was also taken into custody for attempting to interfere with the Officers while they were taking the driver into custody, Gonzales stated. The juvenile’s guardian was contacted, but requested that Officers transport him to the Lake County Juvenile Center, and he was subsequently transported to the Lake County Juvenile Center.
Hobart Officers conducted a search of the vehicle and recovered a loaded firearm. Both of the suspects were transported to the Hobart City Jail and are facing charges, including Resisting Law Enforcement, Handgun No Permit, Confinement and as the investigation progresses, there may be additional charges.