2016-03-22 / Front Page

Indianapolis Woman Leads Police On Pursuit Through Two Counties

Staff Report

Mercedie Star Vance, 41, of Indianapolis, was arrested last Friday night after fleeing from Owen County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) Deputy Andrew Deckard. According to a probable cause affidavit filed in the case, Deputy Deckard was northbound on U.S. 231 when he observed a black sport utility vehicle (SUV) travelling westbound on Truesdel Road. The SUV failed to stop at the stop sign and continued across U.S. 231 onto South Cataract Road. Deputy Deckard followed the vehicle and attempted to stop the vehicle for the traffic violation.

Deputy Deckard’s report advises that the vehicle failed to yield to his overhead lights and siren and that the vehicle reached speeds of 72 mph on South Cataract Road. Deputy Deckard advised dispatch that the vehicle was fleeing from him and other officers began making efforts to stop the vehicle. The vehicle eventually turned onto Cunot-Cataract Road and continued westbound. Lieutenant William Snodgrass with the OCSD blocked Cunot-Cataract Road with his patrol vehicle and activated his overhead lights. According to the report, the vehicle failed to yield to Lt. Snodgrass and would have struck his patrol vehicle head-on if the officer would not have taken evasive action.

The chase continued on Cunot-Cataract Road until the vehicle turned onto Sandhill Road. Once on Sandhill Road, Deputy Deckard observed the driver’s side door open and close and the driver to be dropping items out of the vehicle. At the intersection of Sandhill Road and Owl Hollow Road, the driver stopped the vehicle and a passenger exited the vehicle and ran to a nearby residence. The driver continued north on Owl Hollow and turned westbound onto State Road 42. Clay County authorities were notified that the chase was going to enter into their county and their marked units began making efforts to stop the vehicle. Sheriff’s deputies from Clay County were able to deploy stop sticks at two separate locations on State Road 42, the black SUV struck both sets but continued westbound until turning north onto State Road 59 where the chase finally ended.

The driver was immediately detained by officers and was identified as Mercedie Vance. She allegedly advised police that she resisted because she thought she had active warrants for her arrest. Officers confirmed that Vance had outstanding warrants from Clay County for auto theft, possession of methamphetamine, possession of paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance. Vance was taken to the Clay County Jail and booked into the facility on the outstanding warrant. Officers from Owen County remained on scene and began inventorying the vehicle and collecting evidence thrown from the vehicle. A check of I.D.A.C.S. showed that the black SUV was reported stolen from an auto dealer in Indianapolis, that the license plate returned to a diffident vehicle and that Vance’s driving privileges were suspended. After completing his investigation, Deputy Deckard forwarded his report to the Owen County Prosecutor’s Office for preparation of formal charges.

According to Owen County Prosecutor Don VanDerMoere II, Mercedie Vance was charged by his office with resisting law enforcement (Level 6 Felony), criminal recklessness (B Misdemeanor), auto theft (Level 6 Felony), possession of methamphetamine (Level 6 Felony), unlawful possession of a syringe (Level 6 Felony), two counts of possession of a controlled substance (A Misdemeanor) and driving while suspended (A Misdemeanor). Prosecutor Van- DerMoere advised that a hold has been placed on Vance through Clay County and she will be transported to the Owen Circuit Court I at a later date to be advised of the charges.

The prosecutor issued a reminder that criminal charges are only allegations and this defendant is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in a court of law.

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2016-03-22 digital edition