AUBURN — An hour-long chase that eventually sped through Auburn streets ended with a crash around 4 p.m. Tuesday on Tonkel Road, about three miles south of the DeKalb-Allen county line.
Two suspects were arrested after a black Toyota Camry overturned in a ditch along Tonkel Road, just south of Hollopeter Road, Indiana State Police said.
A DeKalb County sheriff”s deputy helped disable the fleeing suspects’ car. No other persons were injured and no vehicles were damaged, but a fence was damaged behind the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Automobile Museum in Auburn.
Pursuing officers took the driver, Ricky Johnson, 40, of Warsaw, and a passenger, Angela Rogers, 37, of Rochester, into custody. A third occupant remained trapped in the wreckage until officers were able to flip the car back onto its wheels and free that man, whose name was not released because he was not arrested.
The chase began around 3 p.m. and stretched across four counties, involving numerous police agencies. The driver fled when state troopers based at Bremen attempted to stop a car occupied by a fugitive who was wanted in Fulton County on a felony warrant, with another occupant wanted for possession of a handgun and assault rifle as a serious violent felon.
The driver first eluded troopers in the area of S.R. 13 near Syracuse in Kosciusko County. The Camry went north toward Elkhart County, took several county roads back to the Lake Wawasee area, then headed east. In Noble County, the suspects led police down U.S. 33 toward Churubusco at speeds of up to 100 mph, throwing bags of items out the windows along the way, and also tossing out a handgun that was recovered by one of the troopers.
Turning east onto S.R. 205, the pursuit headed into DeKalb County toward Auburn. A deputy with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department deployed stop sticks on S.R. 205 at DeKalb C.R, 60, deflating at least one tire on the Camry — damage that eventually would end the chase.
The driver zig-zagged through Auburn, up Wayne and Jackson streets to North Street, through the west side and back downtown to Jackson, heading south again. The suspects’ vehicle ran off the road and through a fence behind the automobile museum, then came back on the road and headed southbound on C.R. 427, which becomes Tonkel Road in Allen County. On Tonkel Road, just south of Hollopeter Road, after running off the road and into a side ditch, the suspect lost control of his vehicle, which overturned onto its side.
All three occupants of the car were transported from the crash scene by ambulance to the Parkview Regional Medical Center at Fort Wayne for medical evaluation. After further investigation, the male passenger was released from custody without charges.
Following their release from the hospital, both Johnson and Rogers were transported back to Kosciusko County, where they were incarcerated on numerous related charges.
Johnson is charged with resisting law enforcement, possession of a hypodermic syringe, possession of a handgun by a serious violent felon and reckless driving. Rogers is charged with possession of a hypodermic syringe and was held on a warrant for a Fulton County assault charge.
The chase involved officers of the Indiana State Police Bremen and Fort Wayne districts, assisted by numerous officers from county and local law enforcement agencies in Kosciusko, Noble, DeKalb and Allen counties. Assisting at the crash site were the Fort Wayne Fire Department, Three Rivers Ambulance Authority and the Avilla Motor Works tow service.