FISHERS, Ind. — Charles “Joe” Burnworth was sitting in his Fishers home on Aug. 24 watching the Cincinnati Reds when his life forever changed for the worse.
“The next thing I know, I get up out of my chair and take one step and then boom,” said 79-year-old Joe Burnworth. “Something hit the house.”
That something was a black Kia Optima that had been fleeing from an encounter with police, lost control, and barreled straight through the wall of Joe Burnworth’s home and right into his office.
Joe’s wife, Linda, said she was sleeping in the master bedroom when the house shuddered and the loud noise of the crash woke her. At first, Linda thought a tree had fallen on her home, but then she heard Joe calling for help.
Walking into the office where Joe had been watching his baseball game, Linda saw her husband bleeding profusely from his arm and leg.
Joe said his left arm took the brunt of the impact. He compared his mangled arm to a “peeled potato.”
But while Joe Burnworth and his wife were in good spirits in the aftermath of the crash and optimistic about his recovery, court documents reveal that Joe’s life was forever changed as a follow-up interview by investigators in mid-October led to the man confessing his continued pain.
Police said that Joe bemoaned how all the activities he once loved to partake in with his friends are now no longer possible. Joe said he can no longer walk freely or spend time with family without being in pain and needing to ask for assistance.
Joe told officers his left foot suffered nerve damage and he can no longer use it. His injuries also incapacitated his left arm.
But all the while Joe has suffered, the man responsible for Joe’s injuries remained on the run.
After crashing into the Burnworth home, the driver — who eventually was identified as 20-year-old Teigan Jazaireo Zayon Hunt — fled from the heavily damaged home and left the Kia behind. For two months, police worked to identify the driver, track him down and bring him to justice.
Court documents reveal that the chase began when Hunt fled from a Fishers police officer during a traffic stop. An officer had noted that the Kia had improper and expired plates. After pulling over the Kia, Hunt took off in the Kia while the officer approached his vehicle on foot.
Fishers police said the officer broke off the pursuit after first giving chase. Shortly after terminating the pursuit, the officer received a call about a car crashing into a nearby home.
Police ended up connecting the Kia to Hunt despite the “false and fictitious” license plate on the vehicle, using the car’s VIN number along with security footage from a gas station to identify Hunt.
Hunt wasn’t tracked down and arrested until more than two months after the incident when he was finally taken into custody on Nov. 2, according to police records.
Hunt is facing several felony charges including resisting law enforcement, criminal recklessness, criminal mischief and leaving the scene of an accident causing injury.