West Terre Haute —
A West Terre Haute man faces multiple criminal charges after, police say, he stole a vehicle early Saturday and led them on a chase.
Ronald Eugene “Buddy” Hinkle Jr., 27, appeared in Vigo Superior Court 6 on Monday where his criminal charges included auto theft, resisting law enforcement, criminal recklessness, escape and warrants from Vigo, Sullivan and Clay counties.
Chief Deputy Clark Cottom of the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department reports that a Jeep Cherokee was reported stolen at Papa John’s Pizza on Wabash Avenue in Terre Haute at about 2:45 a.m. Saturday.
West Terre Haute Police Deputy Jim Haley overhead Terre Haute police being dispatched to the scene. Haley saw a Jeep Cherokee stopped at a West Terre Haute gas station, so he followed the vehicle and attempted to make a traffic stop after he observed a driving infraction.
The vehicle failed to stop and the driver attempted to elude Haley by speeding through the town.
West Terre Haute Assistant Police Chief Scott Melton assisted Haley in the pursuit as the driver of the Jeep traveled west on Old Paris Road away from West Terre Haute. The Jeep crashed at an intersection, and the driver ran from the scene. He was soon captured, however, by Haley and Melton.
Hinkle was taken to the Vigo County Jail. He was also arraigned during the weekend on a separate charge of burglary.
A search of the Jeep revealed a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle with four magazines of .223-caliber bullets. The rifle was equipped with a red dot aperture. It was later determined that the firearm and ammunition belonged legally to the owner of the vehicle.
Cottom said that Haley was treated for a back sprain at an area hospital and released after the arrest. Cottom credited Haley with being aware and stopping a wanted criminal.
“Without Deputy Haley’s initiative, not only would Hinkle have most likely escaped apprehension, but he would also be in possession of a very powerful rifle,” Cottom said.
Hinkle is scheduled to return to court on Wednesday. His bail is set at $75,000 with no 10 percent allowed.
West Terre Haute —
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