(Chesterton, IN) - A police chase that started on I-94 west of LaPorte County nearly ended in tragedy Saturday night.
Around 7:00 p.m., Indiana State Police dispatch received a report of a woman being held at gunpoint in a vehicle heading east on I-94 from the Illinois state line. Officers located the vehicle about ten minutes later near Burns Harbor and initiated a traffic stop. The driver, however, sped away, leading police on a chase down State Road 49 and around various county roads.
Eventually, the fleeing vehicle switched directions, driving against traffic on 49. Three Porter police officers faced down the vehicle. Two swerved out of its path; one collided head-on. Two male suspects fled on foot. One suspect, 25-year-old Aries E. Atlas of Kalamazoo, was apprehended at a nearby gas station. The other suspect, Kalamazoo’s 29-year-old Samuel A. Kuhl, was located hours later at the same gas station.
Atlas and a female passenger were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
The officer involved in the head-on collision was Corporal Scott Cornelison, a 16-year veteran of the Porter Police Department. Cornelison was transported to Northwest Health-Porter with non-life-threatening severe injuries.
A stolen handgun was found in the fleeing vehicle. Additionally, Mr. Kuhl was wanted on two outstanding warrants out of Michigan. The circumstances that led up to the chase are still under investigation by Indiana State Police.