Michael Maldonado, 25, has been captured after his escape from Portage Police custody while in the Sally Port of the Porter County Jail.
At approximately 7:31pm yesterday evening, Office Lucas of the Burns Harbor Police Department initiated a traffic stop on a blue Jeep Grand Cherokee near the intersection of Old Porter Road and South Babcock Road. Maldonado fled the vehicle on foot northbound towards I-94 from the passenger seat. Officer Lucas pursued Maldonado on foot and relayed all of the information to responding officer. Maldonado was apprehended by Officer Haynes and Assistant Chief McHargue without incident in a wooded area.
The driver of the vehicle was also arrested at the scene. Michael Maldonado was transported to the Porter County Jail without further incident.
The Burns Harbor Police Department was assisted at the scene by Officers from Porter, Chesterton, Ogden Dunes, Portage, The Porter County Sheriff’s Office and Indiana State Police.
Further information has been released by Cpt. Maynard of the Portage Police Department. Before his escape from the Porter County Jail Sally Port Monday, Maldonado twice attempted to run from Portage officers during his arrest.
Maldonado who was pulled over Monday for a traffic stop was with a woman and an infant. The traffic stop occurred just after 10am on Monday along U.S. 20 in Portage. Maldonado attempted to push past officers when a glass crack pipe and hypodermic needle fell from his clothing during a search, according to a Portage Police report.
Portage police stated that Maldonado had to be stun gunned in order to be handcuffed. While being escorted to the waiting police squad car Maldonado began to run away. After being captured again Maldonado was placed in hobble restraints according to police. The transporting officer, Evan Wasilewski, has stated that twice during transport of Maldonado to the Porter County Jail he had to stop to allow Maldonado to lean out of the vehicle to try to vomit, the officer said that he noticed during the second stop that one of the buckles of the restraint was no longer secure, but he did not tighten it because it appeared to still be holding Maldonado’s hands and feet together.
Officer Wasilewski said that he requested help from the jail before arriving, but no jail staff was waiting after pulling into the enclosed Sally Port. Wasilewski locked his weapon in the trunk of his car and then noticed Maldonado flee from the vehicle and out the closing garage door of the Sally Port.
Portage Officer Wasilewski and K-9 Officer Dandurand stated that the closed garage door prevented them from immediately pursuing Maldonado. The officers stated they repeatedly pushed the communication button and pounded on the booking room door before another outside door was opened to allow their pursuit. The officers further stated that the delay prevented them from knowing which direction to pursue Maldonado.
Maldonado has been charged with many counts from this recent incident including felony escape, unlawful possession of a syringe, resisting law enforcement, resisting law enforcement with injury and driving with a suspended license. Further charges may be filled by the end of the investigation.
According to Portage Police they found three plastic bags with a white powdery substance in a child’s diaper bag in the vehicle Maldonado was driving on Monday.
19-year-old Candice Bruns, of Lake Station, that was traveling with Maldonado was also arrested and family was called to retrieve the infant that was in the vehicle.
The grey 2013 Ford Focus that was stolen outside of Pratt Industries that is believed to be involved in Maldonado’s escape was recovered at 3:37pm Monday by Porter County Sheriff’s Officers in area of Juniper Road and County Road 700 North in South Haven.
The Porter County Sheriff’s Department released two separate videos yesterday of Maldonado’s escape from the Porter County Jail Sally Port while in Portage Police custody.
Cpt. Maynard of the Portage Police Department yesterday told us that neither of the officer’s involved in the escape of Maldonado during transport have been placed on any modified duty at this time. Cpt. Maynard also stated that the department is investigating the incident and the department will complete its investigation and determine if any action is needed against Officer Evan Wasilewski and K-9 Officer Anthony Dandurand.