A lieutenant at the Lake County Sheriff's Department is facing charges after an auto accident that involved hitting a man, fleeing the scene, and driving under the influence in his squad car. The 37-year-old lieutenant has been charged with leaving the scene of an auto accident that caused injury and operating while intoxicated causing bodily harm. The Indiana State Police report the lieutenant’s blood alcohol was almost twice the legal limit at .15 when he struck a minivan while in uniform on Sunday at 4:45 p.m.
The report documents claim the 16-year veteran had just left his duty at the Gary Air Show when he struck a Toyota minivan on Oak Avenue near Pike Street with his unmarked 2011 Crown Victoria. The 34-year-old owner of the minivan was also struck by the patrol car as he stood outside his parked vehicle. The lieutenant drove away and was later stopped a mile and a half down the road by a Gary police officer. Police found the damage on the patrol’s car matching the damage on the minivan as well as the injuries of the victim. The victim was taken to Methodist Hospital Northlake, and the lieutenant was taken into custody. The victim is in serious condition.
As a standard policy of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, the lieutenant has been relieved of his police powers and put on administrative leave with pay. This is not the first trouble the lieutenant has been in while in office. He was previously placed on administrative leave in January after a scuffle while in uniform and had a brutality claim against him which settled for $130,000. Records also reveal that in 2009, the county settled a brutality claim against the officer for $130,000, as reported by the Northwest Indiana Times. The lieutenant is expected to face a judge Monday.
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