Chesterton police chase ends in crash; Porter officer injured and suspect in custody

CHESTERTON, Ind. (WLS) -- Police in Chesterton have found the man, who officials said took off after a chase and crash involving a police vehicle Saturday night.

Indiana State Police said in a news release early Sunday that a kidnapping victim was reported about 7 p.m. Saturday, traveling east on Interstate 94 from the Illinois state line.

The caller's daughter was being held against her will, and the suspect was armed with a handgun, police said.

Just before 7:15 p.m., troopers located the suspect vehicle on I-94 near Burns Harbor and tried to make a traffic stop. The car initially pulled over, but then sped away.

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Police were able to see there were several people in the car, including someone who appeared female, and a chase began.

It continued east on I-94 and exited at S.R. 49 before traveling south.

The driver turned right on 1050 N., north on Calumet Avenue and east on 1100 N. When the driver approached S.R. 49, he turned left, driving north in the southbound lanes, police said.

Three Porter police officers were driving south in the southbound lanes, with their emergency lights activated, when they saw the car driving directly toward them at a high rate of speed, officials said.

Two of the police cars were able to avoid the suspect vehicle. The third police car, a 2021 Dodge Durango, was struck head-on by the fleeing vehicle. This impact caused the police car to rotate and come to a rest facing north. The suspect vehicle came to a rest in the west ditch.

Two people immediately exited the vehicle and fled west toward Calumet Avenue.

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During that foot chase, one of the suspects was tased and taken into custody at a Phillips 66 gas station. The second suspect, who was reported to be male, wearing all black clothing, remained at large.

A handgun stolen from Michigan was recovered during the investigation, police said.

There were also three other occupants in the suspect vehicle that did not run away. One of those, who is female, was transported to Northwest Health-Porter with non-life threatening injuries, police said. The suspect that was apprehended was transported to Franciscan Health in Crown Point for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

The injured officer, Cpl. Scott Cornelison, is a 16-year veteran of the Porter Police Department. He was transported to Northwest Health-Porter with serious non-life threatening injuries.

Indiana officials said the Chesterton Police Department received a call of a suspicious male suspect asking to use a phone at the Phillips 66 gas station on Calumet Sunday morning.

Officers responded and located the individual, who ran from police but was chased down and taken into custody.

The suspect, Samuel A. Kuhl, 29, from Kalamazoo, Michigan is wanted on two separate extradition warrants in Kalamazoo for unlawful possession of a weapon as a felon charges.

He is currently being held at the Porter County Jail. Charges are pending in connection with the chase and crash, police said.

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