MARKLE — A Bluffton man was apprehended on Thursday, May 27, after leading officers from multiple police agencies on a lengthy high-speed vehicle, which began in Wells County, ran through Allen County, and ended in eastern Whitley County.
Trenton Anthony Irelan, 30, Bluffton, was taken into custody after the near hour-long incident, now incarcerated in the Wells County Jail and facing related felony charges.
The incident began at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday, May 27, as Indiana State Police Sergeant Shaun Armes was patrolling in the town of Markle and saw what appeared to be criminal drug activity at one of the local gas stations. Following one of the suspect vehicles from the gas station onto Marzane Road, Sgt. Armes discovered the license plate on the red Acura passenger car was false/fictitious. A traffic stop was then initiated on Marzane Road near the CR 700N intersection. As Sgt. Armes exited his vehicle, the driver, later identified as Irelan, sped off at a high rate of speed north toward the town of Zanesville.
As the pursuit progressed out of Wells County and into Allen County (Marzane Road turns into Indianapolis Road) at speeds of up to 100 mph, assisting troopers and officers from Allen County were pre-positioning ahead of the pursuit with tire deflation devices, attempting to de-escalate the situation. However, those initial attempts were unsuccessful.
The pursuit made its way east through the town of Waynedale, through the south side of Fort Wayne along the Paulding Road corridor, north on Minnich Road into New Haven, then back west through downtown Fort Wayne before fleeing west on Illinois Road. There was a tremendous amount of coordinated support by the Fort Wayne Police Department and New Haven Police Department officers through their respective urban jurisdictions, controlling intersections ahead of the pursuit – blocking/protecting traffic – and successfully deploying tire deflation devices on multiple occasions.
Even with multiple strikes on three of the Acura’s tires, Irelan was able to continue west on Illinois Road, albeit only on rims, traveling at reduced speeds of 30-40 mph. As the pursuit made its way out of Allen County and into Whitley County, officers with the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department had a final set of stop sticks deployed at the SR 14 and West County Line Road intersection.
At about 11:30 p.m. Thursday, this final successful strike on the fourth tire rendered the suspect vehicle inoperable. A felony stop was conducted and Irelan was taken into custody without further incident or required use of force.
Irelan was taken by troopers to the Wells County Jail, where he was booked into custody and remains held on several related charges, including resisting law enforcement and operating a vehicle while being a habitual traffic violator, both level 6 felonies; and possession of a controlled substance and reckless driving, both Class C misdemeanors.
The Indiana State Police were assisted in this vehicle pursuit by officers from the Allen County Police Department, Fort Wayne Police Department, New Haven Police Department and Whitley County Sheriff’s Department.