Multi-State Chase Winds up in Michigan

Drunk Driver Smashes Through Toll Booths

A man suspected of drunk driving recently lead police on a wild chase all the way from Indiana into southern Michigan, smashing through multiple toll booth arms and exceeding 100 miles per hour. He is now facing a number of criminal charges.

Apparently the multi-state chase began when a LaPorte city police officer attempted to pull over a suspected drunk driver in a Jeep Grand Cherokee in downtown LaPorte, Indiana. But the driver fled and officers were forced to pursue him.

The chase continued over several roads and onto the Indiana toll road, where the suspect crashed through a toll booth arm. Officers followed him, and the chase at this point reached speeds of over 100 miles per hour.

But at some point the suspect did a U-turn and headed back the way he had come and in doing so, smashed through another toll booth arm. The chase continued up into Michigan, and officers from Michigan took up the pursuit. Shortly after the suspect crossed the state line, however, a Michigan officer executed what is known as a PIT maneuver – Precision Immobilization Technique.

This caused the driver to lose control of his vehicle and roll over twice before finally coming to a stop upside down in a water-filled ditch beside the road. The fleeing driver was identified by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department as Leroy Michael Cortez, a 47-year-old from Indiana.

Cortez was taken into custody in Berrien County, and it was authorities in Michigan who took his BAC, which was more than one and a half times the legal limit. But as of now it is officials in Indiana who are pressing charges against him.

According to a news release, the LaPorte County deputies intend to seek charges for single counts of resisting law enforcement and criminal recklessness with a motor vehicle, and two counts of criminal mischief.

It remains to be seen in authorities in Michigan plan to press charges against Cortez as well, or simply allow the state of Indiana to deal with the case.

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Posted in Out of State Drunk Driving
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