SYRACUSE — A 16-year-old female from Syracuse has found herself in the Thomas N. Frederick Juvenile Justice Center, South Bend, after a police pursuit Wednesday evening, May 29, resulting in a sheriff’s office vehicle being damaged and a number of residents being without power for several hours.
Kandice Ferguson, 16, Grenhaus Drive, Syracuse, has initially been charged with two counts of escape, two counts of resisting law enforcement with a vehicle, auto theft, burglary, possession of methamphetamine, possession of paraphernalia, possession of marijuana and theft.
Events began at 7:20 p.m. on North Majestic Way, Syracuse, on the south side of Lake Wawasee.
Since May 21, Kosciusko County units have been attempting to apprehend Ferguson who had removed her Community Corrections ankle bracelet and was listed as a runaway. A tip was received Wednesday evening that she was at a location on North Majestic Way. Information was also received that she was in possession of narcotics and a firearm. Officers from several agencies were dispatched to the area.
After arriving in the Majestic Way area, officers were not able to locate the vehicle as it had left the residence. A short time later, Kosciusko 911 Communications received a call that a blue Hyundai Santa Fe, which Ferguson was allegedly operating, had returned to the residence.
Syracuse Police observed the vehicle at the residence, at which point Ferguson drove away from the residence, initiating a vehicle pursuit.
Ferguson drove the vehicle through several yards and traveled eastbound on Hatchery Road at a high rate of speed and was unable to navigate the curve in front of the Indiana Department of Natural Resource Division of Law Enforcement District 1 Headquarters. The Santa Fe struck three wooden pillars, a NIPSCO utility pole and a telephone junction box.
Ferguson was taken into custody, double-lock handcuffed behind her back and placed into a Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle. While Ferguson was in the patrol vehicle, she was able to twist and manipulate a hand out of the handcuffs. She then maneuvered into the driver’s seat of the patrol vehicle, turned the vehicle around and accelerated at a high rate of speed, westbound on Hatchery Road.
The patrol vehicle struck a fence and storage building in the 90 degree curve at the west end of Hatchery Road. Ferguson fled the patrol vehicle and entered a home on the property of the storage units. The occupant of the home informed officers she overheard the crash and stepped outside. During the time the occupant was outside, Ferguson forced a window open, crawled into the home, took a cell phone and fled through another window.
Officers were able to apprehend Ferguson, without further incident, south of the home.
Turkey Creek Fire Territory responded to the crash to evaluate Ferguson, who was then released to deputies and taken to the juvenile justice center, on orders of the Kosciusko County Probation Department. A search of the Santa Fe revealed paraphernalia with methamphetamine and marijuana.
The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Syracuse and North Webster police departments, DNR law enforcement, Turkey Creek Fire Territory and county probation.