Driver suspected in hit-and-run crash resisted arrest, has driving record

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INDIANAPOLIS – A bicyclist and a police officer were injured following a hit-and-run crash on the city’s near east side early Wednesday morning that led to a pursuit.

The accident happened around 1:30 a.m. at the intersection of E. 10th St and Rural St. when a minivan hit a man on his bike and then left the scene.

Police arrived at the corner of 10th and Rural to find the bicyclist badly injured. The victim was transported to the hospital in “bad shape” according to one IMPD officer and was listed in serious but stable condition.

About a minute later, the minivan believed to be involved in the accident ran a red light down the road. An officer tried to stop the vehicle for the traffic violation, but the minivan led officers on a short pursuit before running into a concrete retaining wall. The vehicle flipped over, according to a report from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

The driver “began punching the front windshield in an attempt to escape the vehicle,” the report said. He eventually opened the driver’s side door and got out. He yelled something at a nearby officer who ordered him to lie down on the ground. The officer saw blood on the man’s face and hands from injuries suffered in the crash.

Charles Foster MUG

Charles Foster

The driver, later identified as 33-year-old Charles Foster, ran off, ignoring the officer’s orders to stop. The pursuing officer was able to apply four to eight drive stuns, but Foster didn’t stop. The officer eventually closed the distance, and the driver turned to face him, yelling, “I’m sorry” before throwing a punch, the report said. Foster resisted attempts to be handcuffed and wouldn’t comply with orders to stop struggling. The officer hurt both of his ankles while trying to keep Foster down.

Another officer arrived, applying OC/CS spray that finally allowed them to handcuff Foster. He was treated on the scene and went to Wishard Hospital for further evaluation. Police arrested him on preliminary charges of failure to stop at a regulatory sign, resisting law enforcement with a vehicle, battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting law enforcement resulting in injuries to an officer. Other charges include failure to stop at an accident causing injury and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Police believe Foster was under the influence of alcohol, and the FACT team was called to the scene. According to a separate IMPD report, Foster said he’d consumed “2-3 large cups of some sort of mixed alcohol beverage at a party.” He later changed his story, saying he’d only had one of the drinks and telling police he’d been “jumped” at the party and thought someone was chasing after him. A doctor told police Foster said he’d “gotten drunk with some friends and fled from the police” and admitted he’d “messed up,” according to the report.

He also denied striking a bicyclist, police said.

According to police records, Foster has been arrested multiple times for driving infractions. During an incident in April, he was pulled over for failing to signal and police said his driving privileges had been suspended. A year before that, police pulled Foster over because there was no light illuminating his license plate. In that case, police said BMV records showed Foster had never received a driver’s license.

The officer who originally pursued Foster following the crash suffered a fractured left foot and a right ankle sprain.

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