Jennings County man arrested after police chase through Johnson County

FRANKLIN — A Jennings County man has been arrested after deputies say he led them on a chase from Franklin to Whiteland and found nearly seven grams of methamphetamine in his vehicle Monday morning.

Andrew C. Barker, 39, of Paris Crossing, was arrested on charges of meth possession and resisting law enforcement while operating a motor vehicle, both felonies; and resisting law enforcement and reckless driving, both misdemeanors. The Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office will decide what, if any, charges to file.

A deputy with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office was conducting a traffic stop on U.S. 31 near County Road 80 South after 9 a.m. Monday when dispatchers asked for any available units in the southern part of the county to assist with a traffic investigation in Edinburgh. A driver had reported they were being followed by a silver pickup truck that was trying to run vehicles off of the road. At the time of the report, the caller was passing a motel in the 5000 block of U.S. 31 South, just south of State Road 252, according to a Johnson County Sheriff’s Office report.

The deputy observed the truck was following the 911 caller too closely in the left lane, and followed them. Shortly after the deputy began to follow, he saw the truck switch to the right lane. He turned on his emergency lights to conduct a traffic stop on U.S. 31 at South Street in Franklin, according to the report.

The truck began to move over into the right turn lane at South Street, but then it abruptly traveled left across both northbound lanes of U.S. 31 and into the left turn lane to turn left into the Franklin Lakes subdivision. The deputy tried to get the truck to comply with emergency sirens, but the driver — later identified as Barker — did not and veered back to the right and cut off all northbound U.S. 31 traffic once the stoplight turned green, the report says.

Barker then pulled over to the right shoulder and came to a stop just north of Franklin Lakes Boulevard/South Street. The deputy approached Barker, and noticed he was acting “very odd.” The deputy asked for Barker’s license and Barker gave it to him, and then drove away in an “erratic way.” The deputy then began pursuing the vehicle again at around 9:25 a.m. Monday, according to the report.

Barker drove north on U.S. 31, where he continually drove from the right lane into the right shoulder back and forth. Near the Schoolhouse Road intersection, he drove down the right grassy embankment onto North Main Street. From there he drove back onto U.S. 31, going south in the northbound lanes, then onto North Main Street, and he went north on Main Street before turning back onto northbound U.S. 31, according to the report.

Barker then drover north on U.S. 31 at about 51 miles-per-hour and hit a stop-stick deployed by Franklin Police, which punctured his right front tire. He then drove north on the southbound lanes of U.S. 31, reaching speeds of about 90 mph, the report says.

As the pursuit approached Earlywood Drive, Barker then moved back onto the northbound lanes of U.S. 31. He continued going north and he eventually came to a complete stop next to the Clark Pleasant Library Branch on Clearwater Boulevard in Whiteland, the report says.

Barker was ordered to exit the vehicle by law enforcement. He exited the vehicle and ran toward the library parking lot, the report says.

Deputies say Barker then noticed he was being chased by a police K9 and laid down on the ground, the report says.

When deputies tried to arrest Barker, he continued to resist, and a deputy used a taser to get him to comply. After this, law enforcement was able to handcuff Barker, but he continued to resist arrest and attempted to kick law enforcement, which lead a Franklin officer to put ankle restraints on him, according to the report.

Medical personnel then arrived on the scene to treat Barker, who was placed in an ambulance to be taken to a local hospital. While this was underway, deputies opened the driver’s door to Barker’s truck and a large bag of narcotics fell out. The bag weighed 6.7 grams and later tested positive for meth, according to the report.

Deputies followed Barker’s ambulance to the hospital, where he resisted doctors’ attempts to treat him. Medical staff gave Barker sedatives in order to get him to comply, and a corrections officer was sent over to stay with Barker, the report says.

Barker remains at the hospital as of Monday afternoon. Once he is released from the hospital, he will be taken to the Johnson County jail.