Pursuit with ISP troopers ends after man drives Jeep into water

ISP says the pursuit ended when the man crashed into an embankment and into Coppes Ditch.
ISP says the pursuit ended when the man crashed into an embankment and into Coppes Ditch.(ISP)
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 9:39 AM EDT
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KOSCIUSKO COUNTY, Ind. (WPTA) - Indiana State Police (ISP) say a Leesburg man crashed his Jeep into a water-filled ditch Monday evening following a pursuit with troopers.

ISP says around 10 p.m., a trooper saw the driver of a gray Jeep commit a moving violation as it traveled northbound on SR 15 south of Leesburg. The trooper turned on his emergency lights and pulled the driver over, and the Jeep pulled to the right and stopped near the intersection of SR 15 and Levi Lee Road.

As the trooper approached the Jeep, he said he noticed the driver, 27-year-old Austin Zarse, still had his foot on the brakes. He says a second trooper pulled over to see if he needed help, and as he walked up, Zarse sped off on SR 15.

Zarse then led the troopers and other officers on a pursuit through Leesburg. As he approached CR 900 North, they say he went off the roadway and began to drive westbound through a field, followed by officers, when he crashed into an embankment and into Coppes Ditch. 

They say the Jeep then came to a stop in about three feet of water. Zarse got out of the car and began dumping bags “of an unknown substance” into the water before he was taken into custody. He was transported to the Kosciusko County Jail for resisting law enforcement, obstruction of justice, and reckless driving.

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