Man critical after police chase; officials say North Vernon resident admitted ingesting bag of meth

NORTH VERNON — A North Vernon man was listed in critical condition Wednesday after he admitted to Jennings County Jail staff that he had consumed about 3 grams of methamphetamine while being chased by police.

North Vernon police said Justin W. Jarrell, 26, was arrested at 3:55 p.m. Tuesday on preliminary charges of felony resisting law enforcement in a vehicle and felony interfering in an investigation.

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 activated lights and sirens, and the pursuit continued for about a mile, police said.

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 sent K9 Heros to check the vehicle and the dog alerted to drugs, 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 the methamphetamine while being chased by police.

He was taken to St. Vincent Jennings Hospital in North Vernon for treatment, and hospital staff and law enforcement recovered a bag that Jarrell vomited up during his treatment, police said.

The suspect’s condition deteriorated and Jarrell was taken to St. Vincent Hospital on the north side of Indianapolis, where a hospital spokesman said Jarrell was in critical condition.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.