INDIANAPOLIS — For the third time in the last year and a half, an Indianapolis man is behind bars after being arrested for gun-related crimes.
The third and most recent arrest took place after a traffic stop last week. During that arrest, the suspect allegedly admitted he doesn’t go anywhere with a pistol, despite being arrested for various crimes dating back to last year.
Starting in March 2022, outside a home in Butler Tarkington, a man reported someone shot at his car and police arrested Wendell Curley Junior for the first time for criminal recklessness.
That same month, IMPD chased a Jeep allegedly driven by Curley, which crashed into a fence. The suspect ran away, but inside that SUV police found an AR-style weapon as well as another weapon and drugs.
In April of last year, officers raided a home on Roache Street where Curley was arrested a second time for numerous drug and weapons charges.
Court records show in July of this year, police got a tip about Curley being back on the streets dealing drugs.
After putting the suspect under surveillance, IMPD pulled him over driving a Mercedes last week. Inside police claim they found a handgun which had been reported stolen in the late 1990’s.
The case is frustrating to some in law enforcement.
“Officers aren’t frustrated because they have to keep working and making arrests, they’re frustrated because they have to keep risking their lives,” said Indy FOP President Rick Snyder.
Snyder wonders why Curley’s bond was reduced from $200,000 to $80,000 thousand following his second arrest. Curley posted that surety bond in January of this year.
“I guess the question is how many times? Is it one time, two times, three times or 30 times of offending before you’re held without being released,” said Snyder.
While people are entitled to bond in order to guarantee they return to court for their hearing, Snyder says the courts also need to consider a suspect’s risk of re-offending.
For their part, IMPD insists taking guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them is key to public safety and that work continues on a daily basis.
“Our officers will always work on keeping violent offenders and illegal firearms off the streets. It doesn’t matter if it takes one time or three times, we’ll always be out there doing our job,” said IMPD officer Welter Solares.
IMPD added in a social media post:
We want to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to the vigilant community members who are always looking out for their neighborhoods and reporting crucial. Your support is invaluable.
Kudos to the North District Violence Crime Task Force and Violence Reduction Team for their diligent follow-up on the tips, which ultimately led to this arrest.
Let’s continue working together to keep our communities safe. Your partnership with IMPD makes a real difference!
In addition to the charges in Marion County, the suspect also has an active warrant for a gun charge in Vanderburgh County.
For now, he’s temporarily being held without bond for violating the terms of his prior release.