A Greenwood police officer was injured early Tuesday after he crashed his patrol car into a house while chasing two men who investigators said stole numerous items, including some taken from a police car.
Lt. Brian Blackwell crashed into a house and a tree at 8540 Royal Meadow Drive, north of County Line Road, after driving over a patch of black ice. Blackwell was taken to Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis, where he was treated and released, Greenwood assistant police chief Matthew Fillenwarth said.
Blackwell was one of several officers involved in the chase that started at 4:20 a.m. at Stones Crossing Road and State Road 135 in the Center Grove area, after a caller reported seeing a suspicious vehicle.
Officers from multiple police departments joined in the pursuit, which reached speeds of 115 mph at one point along State Road 135, according to a Johnson County Sheriff’s Office report.
After the chase ended, officers found multiple stolen items in the vehicle, including a flashlight that was taken from a Bargersville police car. Police said the two men who were in the vehicle had broken into multiple vehicles and at least one business Monday night.
The car’s driver, Cameron Bradley Harmon, 18, Indianapolis, was arrested on charges of auto theft, theft, unlawful entry, driving without a license, possession of a controlled substance and resisting law enforcement.
A second man, an 18-year-old with ties to Johnson and Marion counties, was arrested by Indianapolis police Tuesday evening, according to a statement from Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox. Police have not released his name.
Police found multiple stolen items in the car Harmon was driving, including items belonging to the Bargersville Police Department, which had one of its vehicles broken into sometime before Tuesday morning, and electronics and a leather bag with office supplies, the report said. Police found other items when the second man was arrested, according to Cox’s statement.
Investigators are looking into whether the suspects were responsible for the burglary of a business near Stones Crossing Road and State Road 135. Any residents living in Bargersville near State Road 135 who believe their vehicles or homes may have been broken into should contact police, Cox said.
“We’ve probably got an idea, if it was in Bargersville, who was involved,” Cox said.
A Johnson County Sheriff’s Office deputy first started chasing the vehicle Harmon was driving north on State Road 135 before being joined by Blackwell and Bargersville Police Department officers, the report said. At County Line Road, Harmon turned west, before heading north again into a neighborhood on Royal Meadow Drive, the report said.
After turning onto the neighborhood road, Blackwell hit a patch of ice, losing control of his car and hitting the house and tree.
“We all know that, in a high-speed pursuit, things change quickly. The road conditions can change unexpectedly. Those are just one of the risks that go with that kind of activity,” Fillenwarth said.
The chase continued, and as Harmon’s car approached the intersection of Stop 11 Road and Railroad Road, the vehicle was going about 90 mph. The car was unable to make the turn at the intersection, and the vehicle went up and over the railroad tracks.
Harmon and a passenger jumped out of the car and started running north, the report said.
A sheriff’s office deputy caught up with and arrested Harmon. He told investigators he had run because he didn’t have a license and was driving a stolen car, the report said.
The deputy also found a large plastic pill bottle with prescription pain pills along where he was chasing Harmon, the report said.
When police searched the car they found a navigation system, two law enforcement flashlights, an external hard drive, a collapsible baton, a pair of sunglasses with a case, a black leather glove, an empty black leather holster and a leather bag containing business supplies. One of the flashlights had been engraved with the letters BPD, which stand for Bargersville Police Department, the report said.
Bargersville police officials told the sheriff’s office that one of their vehicles had been broken into overnight, the report said. Bargersville police officials were not available Tuesday.
Harmon, 804 S. Irwin St., was taken to the Johnson County jail, where he was being held on $15,000 bond.