By Lasca Randels
SILVER LAKE — Charges were filed against a Silver Lake man after police observed him driving in a vehicle without a right front tire, resulting in a traffic stop.
Richard A. Smith, 65, 608 Neher Road, Silver Lake, is charged with battery to a public safety official, a level 6 felony; resisting law enforcement, a level 6 felony; resisting law enforcement, a class A misdemeanor; operating while intoxicated, a class A misdemeanor; and operating a vehicle while intoxicated enhancement, a level 6 felony.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Oct. 8, a Silver Lake Police Officer saw a silver Chrysler traveling south on SR 15 in the area of CR 700S without a tire on the front right side of the vehicle.
The Chrysler was traveling on the rim. The officer could hear the wheel grinding as the vehicle passed him; the officer turned around and caught up to the Chrysler, initiating the emergency lights on his fully marked patrol vehicle.
The Chrysler continued south, passing a vehicle in a no passing zone while disregarding the officer.
The vehicle continued south into Silver Lake, eventually coming to a stop at 608 Neher Road.
The officer exited his vehicle and began giving verbal commands to the driver, later identified as Smith. The officer noted that Smith was swaying once he exited the Chrysler.
The officer also noticed that Smith had an injury to his hand and requested EMS. Smith was noted to have bloodshot eyes and an odor of alcohol.
The officer read Smith his Miranda Rights and Smith advised he did not understand his rights. The officer then read Smith the Indiana Implied Consent warning and Smith refused a chemical test for intoxication.
As the officer performed an inventory search of the Chrysler, he noticed that Smith had left the vehicle in gear upon exiting.
A search warrant was applied for and granted to gather a sample of blood from Smith to compete a chemical test for intoxication. Upon service of the warrant, Smith forcibly resisted law enforcement in obtaining the blood sample.
Smith pushed the officer in the chest and continued to forcibly resist, resulting in the need to be physically restrained during the blood draw procedure.
Smith was previously convicted of operating a vehicle while intoxicated in 2018.
He was booked at the Kosciusko County Jail Oct. 9 on a $5,250 surety and cash bond.