Suspect chase raises questions of safety, policy

A pursuit of two teen shooting suspects ended in a crash in Brownsburg Wednesday.
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There are serious questions from neighbors on why police chose to chase two teenagers across the west side Wednesday.

As police investigate the 15- and 17-year-old suspects, they are also defending their decision to hunt the young men down at high speed.

"There was a lot of choppers flying around," said Rex Givan.

Givan says it's not unusual to hear sirens racing past his home at Northfield and 56th in Brownsburg. But what he walked out to Wednesday afternoon was a first

"When I came out, where the lighted sign was, a little east of that, was the red Cadillac that was pretty well destroyed," said Rex.

It was a scene Rex's wife, Kathleen, was watching unfold on TV at her sister's house - four vehicles badly crashed and some smoking, just yards from her home.

"It was just last weekend we had both my grandchildren here and I'm thinking, 'My gosh, we play out in the front yard at all times when it's nice weather and today would have been one of those days had they been off school'," said Kathleen. "I thought, 'Wow, we were lucky'."

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"Each incident, you gotta look at in and of itself and it's a case by case," said IMPD Commander Ron Hicks.

Hicks says the chase was well within the department's nine-page high-speed pursuit policy. The policy outlines everything from when officers are justified to start a chase and when it's necessary to end it.

"In this case, these were known shooting suspects, so that rises to the level much more than if we were chasing a speeder or something like that," said Hicks.

Not only were the suspects driving dangerously fast, putting themselves and others at risk, they were also tossing critical evidence out the window along the way that had a dive team in the water searching for those items.

Officers already recovered a gun tossed from the car at the crash site and they believed the suspects may have tossed another one in Eagle Creek. It's all more than enough to justify the chase for the Givans.

"Sorry anybody got hurt, but police have to catch these guys. I mean, they're raving idiots and they've gotta do their job," Rex said.

"It seems like they knew they had them, they knew how dangerous a situation it was, so I felt like it was necessary," said Kathleen.

The teens were arrested and charged with dangerous possession of a firearm and resisting law enforcement. But police say the case is still highly complex and evolving.