ISP trooper dragged by vehicle, suspect apprehended on drug charges

PORTER CO., Ind. (ADAMS) – Indiana State Police say a trooper is recovering after being dragged by a vehicle on Wednesday.

ISP officials say at 12:02 a.m., Trooper Brian Runyon was on patrol on U.S. 30 near County Road 750 E. Trooper Runyon observed a vehicle traveling westbound at 80 mph. The speed limit on U.S. 30 in that area is posted 55 mph. A traffic stop was initiated on the vehicle, a 2014 Chevrolet Malibu, on U.S. 30 near the Porter/Lake County line.

As Trooper Runyon spoke with the driver, he smelled the distinct odor of burnt marijuana inside the vehicle. When asked for his identification, he failed to produce his driver’s license and he was not the registered owner of the vehicle. Trooper Runyon asked the driver to exit the vehicle and the driver complied. As the investigation continued inside Trooper Runyon’s patrol car, the driver, identified as Darrell A. Loving, 30, of Gary, Indiana, ran from Trooper Runyon’s car and got back into the Malibu.

Trooper Runyon also exited his patrol car, ran after Mr. Loving and reached into the driver’s seat to remove him from the vehicle. As he did so, Mr. Loving placed the vehicle into drive and sped off, dragging Trooper Runyon for approximately 15 feet before he was able to free himself from the vehicle. As a result, Trooper Runyon fell into the westbound lane of U.S. 30. The vehicle continued to flee west towards Hobart. Trooper Runyon then returned to his patrol car and attempted to catch up to the suspect, but lost sight of the vehicle.

At approximately the same time, the Hobart Police Department was working an injury crash on U.S. 30 at Clay St. This is approximately two miles west of Trooper Runyon’s original traffic stop. During their crash investigation, the suspect vehicle from Trooper Runyon’s traffic stop drove through that crash scene at a high rate of speed, narrowly striking Hobart officers. Hobart officers pursued the vehicle into Merrillville where the driver fled on foot and was taken into custody. Further information on that pursuit can be found in the news release issued by the Hobart Police Department. The suspect was transported from the scene to SouthLake Hospital in Merrillville due to injuries sustained in a crash prior to the suspect fleeing on foot. The suspect was later transferred to Loyola Hospital in Chicago for treatment. Trooper Runyon received minor injuries and was able to complete his duty shift.

The following charges have been submitted for review to the Porter County Prosecutor’s Office, who will make the final charging decision. These charges are separate from any charges that may be filed by the Hobart Police Department.

1) Dealing in Cocaine or Narcotic Drug- Level 2 Felony

2) Dealing in a Schedule I, II, or III Controlled Substance (Heroin)- Level 2 Felony