Muncie man sentenced to 10 years after trying to hit officers with car during March incident

Charles Dinkins

MUNCIE, Ind. – A Muncie man was sentenced to 10 years in prison after a March incident in which he tried to hit police officers with his car, resulting in an officer-involved shooting.

In July, a jury found Charles Dinkins, 49, guilty of attempted aggravated battery, criminal recklessness, resisting law enforcement and leaving the scene of an accident.

The incident happened around 2:30 a.m. on March 24. Officers tried to stop a gray Chevrolet Cavalier for a traffic violation, but the car didn’t stop. The driver, Dinkins, tried to get away, crashing the car through a gate at the U.S. Postal Service Facility at 501 W. Memorial Drive.

A female passenger bailed out of the car at that point. The Cavalier then drove across the lot and redirected toward officers at a “high rate of speed,” according to court documents. One officer ran out of the car’s path to avoid being hit; two officers opened fire when they realized the driver wasn’t going to stop.

Dinkins was shot at least once. He eventually crashed at 13th Street and Elliot Street a few blocks away. After being arrested, Dinkins was taken to IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital to get treatment for gunshot wounds and injuries suffered in the crash.

During his July trial, prosecutors showed body camera footage from the incident. The officers who fired at Dinkins didn’t face criminal charges, with prosecutors saying there was no evidence the officers acted improperly.

During his sentencing hearing Monday, Dinkins said drug abuse was to blame for his actions. He apologized in court, according to the Muncie Star Press, and asked the judge for leniency.

The judge, Delaware Circuit Court 1 Judge Marianne Vorhees, said she would recommend an extensive substance abuse treatment program for Dinkins during his incarceration.