WARSAW — A Milford man received a four-year prison sentence following an April 2018 incident that involved a police chase, which damaged a police car.
Michael David Mench, 34, 406 Turkey Creek Drive, Milford, appeared in Kosciusko County Circuit Court on Monday, Jan. 7, to receive sentencing for operating a motor vehicle after forfeiture for life, a level 5 felony; possession of methamphetamine and resisting law enforcement, both level 6 felonies. Mench appeared in court on Nov. 19, 2018, and pleaded guilty to those charges.
Police say that on April 13, 2018, officers observed a broken taillight and attempted to make a traffic stop of a red Dodge passenger vehicle, when the driver, later identified by police as Mench, accelerated and led police on a vehicle pursuit that reached speeds in excess of 90 miles per hour and at times involved driving on sidewalks and through yards.
Police said that during the chase, Mench disregarded all stop signs and traffic control devices. In the probable cause affidavit, police reported that Mench eventually stopped the vehicle on Main Street in Syracuse and fled on foot.
When police caught up with Mench, they reported finding two small pills, later identified as alprazolam, along with a plastic bag, which they say contained methamphetamine.
“I hurt my family more than anything and I disappointed a lot of people,” said Mench to Circuit Court Judge Michael Reed prior to sentencing.
Mench’s defense attorney, Douglas Lemon, told Reed that Mench had expressed gratitude for his incarceration because that time behind bars had allowed him to remain sober. Reed answered by stating Mench has a history of being in the courtroom over the past several years and all the parties involved acknowledged a number of pending cases which still remain unresolved for Mench.
Mench received a three-year sentence for the operating a vehicle with a lifetime ban and one year for resisting police. Those sentences will be served concurrently, or at the same time. For the possession charge, Mench was sentenced to an additional year, for four years total time to serve. Reed gave Mench 269 days of credit for time served. According to Reed, Mench still has four pending cases in Elkhart County.
The judge told Mench he will also be responsible for restitution to the town of Syracuse for $7,604.75 for damage to a police car.