State, county and municipal police combined efforts early Wednesday morning to stop an elusive Columbus man who led authorities on a 45-minute car chase, reaching speeds of 115 mph.
Michael S. Walker, 23, is being held at Bartholomew County Jail on preliminary felony count of resisting law enforcement and misdemeanor counts of resisting law enforcement by fleeing, criminal recklessness with a vehicle, reckless driving and driving while suspended with a prior conviction.
The chase started about 3:15 a.m. Wednesday, when Bartholomew County Sheriff Department Sgt. Kris Weisner observed Walker leaving Taylorsville’s Circle K in a blue Cadillac DeVille and then drive north on U.S. 31. Weisner, who reportedly knew Walker’s license was suspended, attempted to stop the vehicle, but Walker fled to the Interstate 65 entrance and sped northbound.
Weisner attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but the pursuit continued as Walker reportedly exited I-65 at State Road 252 and headed east. Weisner then lost sight of the vehicle.
“Sgt. Weisner observed vehicles oncoming,” said Maj. Todd Noblitt, deputy chief of the BCSD. “He then slowed his vehicle because of the other drivers and lost sight of the Cadillac.”
About five minutes later, Indiana State Trooper Matt Simmons noticed Walker driving west on 800N at 77 mph. Simmons then pursued the vehicle at speeds of up to 115 mph, west on county roads, south on U.S. 31. Columbus Police Department officer John Thompson attempted to end the chase with stop sticks near County Road 450N, but Walker weaved around the sticks and continued south on U.S. 31 until pulling into Woodlawn Park subdivision.
“If you can get the car to hit (the stop sticks), they’ll puncture the tires,” said Sgt. Noel Houze, public information for the Indiana State Police Versailles District. “Trooper Simmons told me that when they found (Walker), he had one flat tire. They don’t know if the stop stick did it or not.”
Walker then drove off the road and through a field to County Road 200W, where Simmons lost sight of the vehicle and stopped the pursuit.
Minutes later, a passer-by notified a CPD officer of a blue Cadillac DeVille in the parking lot of the Bulldog Lanes Bowling Alley, 3906 N. Indianapolis Road. Police located the vehicle and called for assistance. At 3:58 a.m., ISP Trooper Seth Davidson arrested Walker as he was walking toward U.S. 31.
“Each agency, I’m sure, has different pursuit policies,” Houze said. “A lot of time, you have to take into consideration traffic on the road. It made it a little safer to do the pursuit at 3:30 in the morning. Probably, this incident wouldn’t have happened at 3:30 in the afternoon.”
The Hope Police Department also assisted in the chase.