Fleeing suspect accused of concealing meth by eating it

NORTH VERNON — North Vernon police arrested a local man after he led police on a pursuit and ingested about 3 grams of methamphetamine while being chased.

Police said Justin Wayne Jarrell, 26, North Vernon, was arrested on preliminary charges of felony resisting law enforcement in a vehicle and felony interfering in an investigation at about 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Sgt. Andrew Richmond attempted to stop Jarrell’s 1998 red Chevrolet Blazer for following a van too closely, police said. Jarrell failed to stop and continued driving north from the intersection of North State and Franklin streets, police said.

Jarrell weaved around other traffic that was yielding and stopping for Richmond’s light and sirens, which were activated, police said, and the pursuit continued for about a mile.

During the pursuit, Richmond saw Jarrell moving around in the vehicle and digging into the center console, police said.

Jarrell stopped in a business lot on North State Road 3 and was taken into custody, police said. Richmond, who is also a K9 officer, sent K9 Heros to check the vehicle and the dog alerted to drugs in the vehicle, although none were found, police said.

Jarrell was taken to the Jennings County Jail, where he reported feeling ill and admitted to jail staff he had consumed about 3 grams of methamphetamine while being chased by police.

He was taken to St. Vincent Jennings Hospital for treatment and hospital staff and law enforcement recovered a bag that Jarrell vomited up during his treatment, police said. His condition deteriorated from there and Jarrell was taken to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis where he is being treated in intensive care, police said.

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.