On March 5, 2021, at 9:58 AM, Deputy Jon Samuelson of The LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department was traveling westbound in the driving lane of US 20 near Fail Road. A passenger vehicle was traveling westbound in the driving lane directly in front of him. Deputy Samuelson noticed the vehicle was following a westbound US 20 commercial motor vehicle (CMV) too closely. The vehicle was traveling less than one car length behind the CMV.
Deputy Samuelson initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle. The vehicle stopped on Range Road north of US 20. He made contact with the female driver and male passenger. After being asked, the driver voluntarily exited the vehicle and continued speaking with Deputy Samuelson.
As the traffic stop progressed, Deputy Corey Chavez arrived to assist. Deputy Samuelson proceeded to deploy his K-9 partner Bosco around the exterior of the vehicle for a free-air sniff. K-9 Bosco gave a positive alert to the presence of the odor of narcotics in the vehicle.
Upon Deputy Samuelson returning to the vehicle, he noticed the passenger had locked the doors and placed the windows in the upright position. The male was directed to exit the vehicle three times. However, each time he refused and responded with profanity laced statements. As the deputies prepared to extract the passenger from the vehicle, he quickly moved from the passenger seat to the drivers seat. He again refused to exit the vehicle and sped off traveling northbound on Range Road.
Deputy Samuelson quickly returned to his vehicle and pursued the fleeing vehicle northbound on Range Road. In the 7000 north block of Range Road, the vehicle left the roadway and began to travel north through a field. The vehicle eventually turned, began traveling in a west direction into woods, down a path, before making its way across another field. Deputy Samuelson lost sight of the vehicle in the area of the 8100 north block of Wilhelm Road.
A short time later, Deputy Jake Pisowicz located the vehicle traveling westbound on CR 1000 North. As the pursuit continued, the driver began discarding unknown objects from the interior of the vehicle. The vehicle entered another field along the south side of CR 1000 North, west of SR 39 and began traveling south.
Captain Derek J. Allen located the fleeing vehicle as it exited the field onto CR 925 North. The vehicle traveled west on CR 925 North for a short distance before entering another field along the south side of the roadway. Captain Allen pursued the vehicle across and around in the field. Eventually, the vehicle made its way back to SR 39 and began traveling south.
Several deputies continued to pursue the vehicle south on SR 39 into La Porte. The vehicle pursuit continued along several city streets before eventually making its way to Pennsylvania Avenue. The fleeing vehicle traveled west on Pennsylvania Avenue before crashing into a snow bank at the dead end in the 1400 block.
The driver was immediately taken into custody. He was identified as Martin J. DEVALOIS (37 YOA) of Braidwood, Illinois. DEVALOIS was transported to the
La Porte County Jail (LCJ). While inventorying the contents of the vehicle, Deputy Samuelson located a black Ruger LCP .380 caliber handgun within the passenger compartment.
DEVALOIS was arrested for Serious Violent Felon in Possession of a Firearm (Level 4 Felony) and Resisting Law Enforcement (Level 6 Felony). He remains housed in the LCJ and is being held on a $20,005.00 cash-only bond through Superior Court I.
Assisting: Chief Deputy Ron Heeg, Captain Dallas Smythe, Sergeants Steve Lestinsky and Nathan Battleday, Deputies Andy Morse, Troy Ryan, Scott Lanoue, David Francis and Ryan Elcock, the Indiana State Police and the La Porte Police Department