A 12-year-old girl and a 19-year old man were arrested in Bartholomew County after a carjacking and vehicle and foot pursuits by police.
Bartholo-mew County Sheriff’s deputies later learned that the girl was reported as a runaway from Jacksonville, Florida.
At approximately 4:20 a.m. Saturday, deputies were informed the Columbus Police Department was investigating a crash near the 66-mile marker on Interstate 65 North. During the investigation, a driver stopped to see if the occupants of the crashed vehicle needed assistance.
The girl and Rodolfo Gonzales Ramirez, of West Palm Beach, Florida, stole the driver’s gold Buick Rendezvous, according to a news release from the sheriff’s department.
The sport-utility vehicle was observed heading north on I-65. Ramirez then exited I-65 and traveled south on U.S. 31. Deputies Gary Knoef and Nick Martoccia initiated a felony stop near the Red Roof Inn. Knoef yelled verbal commands to the driver, but Ramirez quickly drove away. Several police units pursued, the release stated.
Stop sticks were requested, and Columbus Police Department officers placed them in the area of U.S. 31 and Lowell Road. Deputies believe the vehicle struck the stop sticks, although Ramirez continued southbound on Indianapolis Road, according to the release.
Approaching the curve, just north of the roundabout, at a high rate of speed, Ramirez drove over the curb and wrecked the SUV just off the south side of the roadway.
Ramirez and the juvenile girl fled on foot running through the parking lot of Mill Race Center. Deputies Knoef and Martoccia gave chase on foot. Edinburgh Police Department Officer Junior Little, who assisted in the chase, stopped the girl, the sheriff’s department said.
Ramirez stopped running and turned to face Knoef and Martoccia. Ramirez said he did not have any weapons, but he would not follow the deputies’ directions. Ramirez eventually laid face-down on the ground and was arrested.
Columbus police took the girl and Ramirez into custody. According to Bartholomew County Jail officials, he was booked on preliminary charges of:
Auto theft, a Level 6 felony.
Contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a Level 6 felony.
Resisting law enforcement with a vehicle, a Level 6 felony.
Criminal recklessness, a Class A misdemeanor.
Resisting law enforcement, a Class A misdemeanor.
Leaving the scene of an accident, a Class C misdemeanor.
Ramirez was being held on a $7,500 surety bond.
The girl was arrested on a preliminary charge of auto theft and is being held at the Bartholomew County Youth Services Center, according to the sheriff’s department.