Multiple police chases, drivers fight with police in Whitestown
WHITESTOWN, Ind. — The Whitestown Metropolitan Police Department says they were involved in two unrelated vehicle pursuits over the weekend. In both cases the driver violently resisted arrest.
Police say around 11:30 Saturday night they received a call regarding a driver heading the wrong direction on I-65. Officers found a white Honda Civic heading northbound in the southbound lanes at mile marker 132. When police tried to stop the vehicle, the car refused to stop and attempted to strike the vehicles of responding officers. Police say they set up a tired deflation device at mile marker 136, which caused the Honda to slow down and allowed officers to box the car in.
Once stopped, police say they attempted to remove the driver at gun-point, but the suspect ignored all verbal commands. Officers broke the driver side window and removed the suspect by force. The suspect, later identified as 20 year-old Anthony Simeri of Elkhart, allegedly fought and resisted police as they removed him from the car. Simeri was sprayed with a chemical agent for compliance, but continued to fight with officers even after he was removed from the car. Multiple WMPD officers were allegedly injured as a result of Simeri’s resistance. Once in custody, Simeri was taken to a local hospital for treatment of injuries he sustained when resisting and fighting with officers and for medical clearance.
Simeri is being held at the Boone County Jail on charges of battery resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer, resisting law enforcement, resisting law enforcement using a vehicle, operating a vehicle while intoxicated/endangerment, criminal recklessness, disorderly conduct, operating a vehicle with a schedule I or schedule II controlled substance or its metabolite in the body, and reckless driving.
Around 9 p.m. Sunday, WMPD says they were called to the TA Travel Center due to reports of an intoxicated man talking to himself, yelling obscenities and attempting to leave with merchandise without paying for it. Officers were told he was leaving the parking lot in an older model Buick sedan that had a headlight out. Police spotted the Buick and tried to conduct a traffic stop. However, police say the car accelerated to a high speed once officers turned on their sirens, and got on I-65 southbound at the 130 entrance-ramp. The Buick allegedly drove recklessly and put several other drivers is danger when it crossed multiple lanes at a high speed with no turn signal. After a short chase, the car veered to the right and came to an abrupt stop.
WMPD removed the driver at gunpoint and took him into custody. The driver was later identified as 31-year-old Sean D. Howard Jr. of Indianapolis. While trying to escort Howard Jr. into a police vehicle, officials say the suspect resisted and fought with them several times, which caused injury to multiple officers. Howard Jr. also allegedly spit at and screamed profanities at the officers.
Howard Jr. was taken to a local hospital to be treated for injuries he sustained while resisting arrest and for medical clearance. While at the hospital, police say Howard Jr. continued to act belligerent, yell profanities and fight with law enforcement.
Howard Jr. is being held at the Boone County Jail on charges of battery resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer, resisting law enforcement, resisting law enforcement using a vehicle, obstruction of justice, intimidation, operating a vehicle while intoxicated/endangerment, criminal mischief, driving while suspended with a prior conviction, theft, criminal recklessness, public intoxication, disorderly conduct and reckless driving.
WMPD says they are very alarmed to have dealt with multiple instances in such a short span of time that involved people who displayed zero regard for the lives of the public or the lives and safety of law enforcement officers.