Florida runaway, boyfriend arrested after car theft, crash

Jan 26, 2015 500

A 12-year-old runaway girl from Jacksonville, Florida and a 19-year-old man were arrested early Saturday morning in Bartholomew County after allegedly stealing an SUV and crashing it near Mill Race Park.

According to Judy Jackson, spokeswoman for the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department, Columbus police were called to the scene of a crash on Interstate 65 at about 4:20 a.m. A good Samaritan had stopped to assist the accident victims and instead had his SUV stolen.

Deputies began pursuing the vehicle, which left the interstate, and came down U.S. 31. Officers stopped the vehicle in Taylorsville, but the driver took off again, ran over stop sticks placed by Columbus police near Lowell Road and eventually crashed at the roundabout near Mill Race Park. The man and girl allegedly tried to flee through the Mill Race Center parking lot where they were arrested.

19 year old Rodolfo Gonzales Ramirez, of West Palm Beach, Florida was arrested on preliminary felony charges including auto theft, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and resisting law enforcement with a vehicle. Misdemeanor charges include criminal recklessness involving the use of a vehicle, resisting law enforcement and leaving the scene of an accident.

New DARE officer chosen for Bartholomew County

Jan 23, 2015 3153

Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers has announced the appointment of a new DARE officer to take anti-drug classes to local schools.

Deputy Jessica Pendleton will fill that role. Pendleton began as a road deputy in 2009 and served as the department’s police dog handler. Prior to her move to deputy, Pendleton worked in the jail, where she reached the rank of corporal.

She will start the new duties on Feb. 1st. Pendleton recently returned from DARE training where she was awarded a medal for being an “Outstanding Team Member,” Myers said.

In addition to her duties as the DARE officer, Pendleton will continue to respond to calls for service and serve civil papers.

Pendleton replaces long-time DARE Officer Pat Bryant who retired at the end of 2014.

Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers and new DARE officer Deputy Jessica Pendleton

Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers and new DARE officer Deputy Jessica Pendleton

Hope town marshal trial continues in misconduct case

Jan 23, 2015 538

The third day of suspended Hope Town Marshal Randy Bailey’s trial in Bartholomew Circuit Court saw questions raised about a digital audio recorder used to secretly record a dispute between the marshal and his accuser.

Bailey is accused of felony official misconduct and misdemeanor false informing in a case dating back to Memorial Day 2012. Bailey allegedly falsely accused Anthony Paul of making death threats against the marshal over a child custody dispute. Paul was arrested after showing up on the marshal’s front porch on a Saturday morning to protest how he was treated the night before. Bailey did not realize that Paul was recording the whole thing on a pocket digital recorder. When the recording showed no signs of threats from Paul, Bailey was arrested and soon suspended from his law enforcement role.

The prosecution called witnesses Thursday who testified that the audio recording showed no signs of tampering. The defense attorney questioned whether the recorder offered the ability to download audio.

The case will continue today with witnesses including a defense audio expert and Bailey. The trial is expected to continue into next week.

Deputies searching for suspect

Jan 23, 2015 541

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office has named 38-year-old Jose Israel Jimenez-Gomez as its most wanted suspect.

Jimenez-Gomez is wanted on warrants for criminal confinement, intimidation and invasion of privacy. Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Judy Jackson said Jimenez-Gomez is accused of domestic violence and interfering with reporting a crime. And in a second incident he allegedly confined the same woman and left the state with her.

He is described as a Hispanic male, 5’6″, 170 lbs, brown hair, and brown eyes.  He is thought to be in the German Township area.

If you have any information you can contact the sheriff’s department at 379-1650.

Man arrested in Johnson County Courthouse bomb threat

Jan 20, 2015 588

A Franklin man was arrested on charges that he phoned in a bomb threat to the Johnson County Courthouse.

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Department says that someone called in the initial threat at around 4:45 Saturday afternoon. Police were able to track the phone number that was used to call in the threat and a location as to where it was.

Investigators arrested 61-year-old Keith Laughlin after comparing the voice of the caller to Laughlin’s voice. They say both voices have the same speech impediment.

Laughlin was arrested on preliminary charges of intimidation. Authorities evacuated the building and blocked surrounding streets.  They found no suspicious packages or devices.

Arnholt to receive Purdue recognition

Jan 20, 2015 440

Bartholomew County resident Dan J. Arnholt will receive the Certificate of Distinction Award, the highest award of the Purdue Agricultural Alumni Association.

The award recognizes contributions to agriculture, forestry or natural resources. Arnholt is a graduate of Purdue University’s College of Agriculture, according to Kris Medic, educator with the Bartholomew County Purdue cooperative extension office.

Arnholt retired from Bartholomew County REMC and he is he is owner/operator of Sudan Farms Inc., and Sudan Ag Lime Service with his wife, Susan, and son, Clint.

Arnholt will be recognized at the Purdue Ag Alumni Association’s annual meeting on February 7 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Stolen vehicle leads to chase, arrest

Jan 20, 2015 324

A Brownstown man is facing charges after allegedly leading police on a chase in a stolen vehicle that he ultimately crashed.

Seymour Police responded to an address on Sixth Street in regards to a stolen vehicle at 10 p.m. Sunday and put out a dispatch alerting other officers around the area to be on the lookout for it. An officer with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department later saw the vehicle traveling west on State Road 58 in Freetown. The officer attempted to execute a traffic stop, but the stolen vehicle reportedly accelerated and a chase began.

The Sheriff’s Department reports that the chase continued on State Road 58 and several county roads before coming to an end when the driver lost control in the ten-thousand block of County Road 400 North and struck a tree. The driver, identified as 40-year-old Keith Warnock, allegedly fled on foot, but was apprehended moments later.

Warnock reportedly had drug paraphernalia on him and in the vehicle. He was booked in the Jackson County Jail on preliminary charges of Auto Theft, two counts of Resisting Law Enforcement, Possession of Paraphernalia and Driving While Suspended with a Prior Conviction. The Sheriff’s Department also report that Warnock had a warrant for dealing methamphetamine.

A passenger in the vehicle, 26-year-old Jessica Lee Etienne, of Seymour, was taken to Schneck Medical Center for complaints of pain. She was reportedly released from the hospital a short time later.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department says the investigation is ongoing and that additional charges could be filed.

Man arrested after scuffle with police

Jan 20, 2015 364

A local man was arrested over the weekend after fighting with police.

Sgt. Matt Harris, spokesman for the Columbus Police Department, said officers were called to the 200 block of North Gladstone Avenue at about 3:45 p.m. Saturday on a report of a possibly intoxicated man being in a neighbor’s yard. Police allegedly found 50-year-old Lloyd Hazelwood of Columbus incoherent and carrying an empty vodka bottle.

Harris says Hazelwood was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital, where he allegedly became combative and grabbed an officer’s collar. Once released from the hospital, Hazelwood was booked in the Bartholomew County Jail on preliminary charges of public intoxication, battery against a law enforcement officer, intimidation and resisting law enforcement.

No officers were injured.

Free MLK Day event at The Commons this afternoon

Jan 19, 2015 423

The Columbus Area Arts Council will host a free performance at 2 p.m. today at The Commons in celebration of Martin Luther King Day.
Jeff Keuhl with the arts council explains:
“This is celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Day with a production called ‘Coretta Scott King and the Fight for Freedom,'” Kuehl said. “She was born in Alabama. She overcame childhood adversity in a segregated South and attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. And she became a very talented singer and went on to play a very key role in the civil rights movement.”
Kuehl said the performance will be by a Cincinnati theater group called Art Reach.

Hartsville man killed in weekend crash

Jan 19, 2015 562

A Hartsville man died Saturday morning in a car accident on County Road 500N in Bartholomew County.

That’s according to our news-gathering partners at The Republic. 50-year-old James Lobdell was driving east at just before 8 a.m. when he came across the top of a hill and lost control on the icy road, hitting a tree. Lobdell was ejected from the truck, and investigators don’t believe he was wearing a seat belt when the accident happened, Sheriff Matt Myers told the newspaper.

For more information: www.therepublic.com