Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

April 8, 2013

Man arrested after high speed chase

Tess Rowing
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — A Batesville man accused of leading police on a high speed chase was arrested early Monday, and he now faces multiple charges.

Stephen Wessel, 22, was arrested shortly before 4 a.m. Monday on charges of resisting law enforcement, a class “D” felony; reckless driving, a class “B” misdemeanor; criminal recklessness, a class “A” misdemeanor; and operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a class “A” misdemeanor.

According to police reports, Wessel was observed traveling on State Road 46 at 91 miles per hour in a 55 miles per hour zone. When a police officer spotted the suspect and turned on the emergency lights of his patrol car, Wessel allegedly continued fleeing.

Police reports read that the officer followed Wessel on State Road 46 at speeds of 100 miles per hour, until Wessel turned onto I-74.

At one point according to reports, Wessel stopped his vehicle while going 70 miles per hour, reversed and accelerated violently in an alleged attempt to strike the officer’s car. Wessel repeated the attempt, then gave the officer an obscene gesture before speeding away. The officer was forced to drive back into oncoming traffic in order to avoid being hit by Wessel.

A second Greensburg Police Department officer was called, as well as Decatur County Sheriff’s Lt. Eric Blodgett, who caught up with the chase. The chase continued at about approximately 50 miles per hour.

At about the 149 mile marker of Interstate 74, Batesville police successfully deployed stop sticks, which blew out Wessel’s right front tire.

Wessel’s vehicle began emitting sparks, after which the car was stopped at the Batesville exit.

According to police reports, the officers had some trouble removing Wessel from the vehicle because he could not hear over his loud music.

Once Wessel was removed from his car, he had problems walking to the police vehicle, and was observed to smell strongly of alcohol. Wessel is reported to have submitted to a preliminary breathalizer test which allegedly returned .03. The legal limit for alcohol consumption in Indiana when operating a motor vehicle is a blood alcohol content of .08.

Wessel is currently being held on $755 cash bond.

Contact: Tess Rowing 812-663-3111 x7004