Steuben County, IN - A Jasper County man is in the Steuben County jail after leading troopers on a lengthy vehicle pursuit earlier Monday afternoon.
The incident began at around 1:30 p.m. near the I-69 / State Road 120 interchange after Senior Trooper Chris Kinsey (Fort Wayne Post) identified a black GMC Sierra pickup truck displaying a stolen license plate. Trooper Kinsey and Trooper Kody Buell initiated a traffic stop on Old 27 near 120 to investigate the criminal matter.
Prior to identifying the male driver, he sped off, initiating a vehicle pursuit that would run through central Steuben County for nearly a half hour, running off road several times through fields and wooded areas around Crooked Lake, crashing through a fence, running over a mailbox, and nearly striking one of the troopers.
Trooper’s John Silver, Dave Poe, and Jacob Bill, along with deputies from the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department were able to join in the pursuit at various locations to assist with apprehending the driver.
Officer’s strategically coordinated their efforts, taking every opportunity to employ de-escalation tactics to confine and attempt to safely end the pursuit. Stop sticks were deployed at several different locations, but the driver managed to avoid each attempt.
Officers ahead of the pursuit were finally able to successfully deploy stop sticks on County Road 600 West north of US 20, which deflated the truck tires. The driver continued driving on flat tires for a short distance, but eventually his vehicle became inoperable near County Road 650 West and US 20.
A felony traffic stop was conducted and the driver, identified as Mark Allen Cates, age 57, was taken into custody without further incident.
Cates was transported to the Steuben County Jail, where he was booked into custody on numerous related charges, and will remain held pending an initial hearing.