PORTAGE – Police arrested a northwestern Indiana man who claimed he was late for his wedding, necessitating high speeds and erratic driving.
According to a report from the Portage Police Department, an officer witnessed a Jeep Cherokee speeding down a road, setting off his radar unit. The officer estimated that the vehicle was moving at close to 100 mph, the report said.
The officer said the car’s emergency flashers were active, adding that he saw the vehicle make a sharp left turn just after the traffic light had changed, causing traffic to stop abruptly in two directions. The officer said the SUV nearly tipped over twice and appeared to travel on only two wheels on one occasion.
After another abrupt turn the car went into the parking lot at a church and made a hard stop, resulting in a “doughnut” that kicked up dust and smoke.
The officer approached the driver, who identified himself as Timothy N. Thompson, 23, Valparaiso, who said he was late for his wedding and pointed at the church. Thompson admitted he was doing “about 90” and again told the officer he was late for his wedding. Thompson said he had his emergency flashers on and kept honking his horn to let other drivers know he was in a hurry.
Three people—officers later said they were Thompson’s relatives—then approached, yelling at Thompson for how he was driving. An older female walked up and hugged him. According to the officer, the family members started arguing and Thompson got back into his car and started to drive away.
The officer blocked Thompson with his cruiser and then asked why Thompson was trying to leave.
“Oh, I thought you were done and I’m late for a party in Chicago,” Thompson said, according to the report. He added, “It now means I have to drive really fast to get there.”
The officer learned that Thompson had earlier been arrested on narcotics charges and proceeded to search the vehicle.
According to the report, Thompson said, “There’s nothing in there. I just got released from jail today.”
The officer arrested Thompson on charges of fleeing law enforcement and criminal recklessness. Police also cited him for speeding and improper passing.