Right Place, Right Time: Trooper arrives as vehicle flees gas station


Dustin Wayne Austin, 33, of Indianapolis and Amanda Evelyn Jessup, 33, of Homer, MI (Photos courtesy of the Indiana State Police)

ASHLEY, Ind. (WANE)-   An Indianapolis man and Michigan woman are behind bars after allegedly brandished a handgun towards a gas station employee before fleeing in their vehicle.

The incident began shortly after 7:30 a.m. Friday morning, as Indiana State Trooper Wes Rowlader pulled into the Ashley Deli to fill-up his gas tank. Trooper Rowlader reports noticing a vehicle leaving the lot “in a hurry” as he pulled in. A gas station employee was close behind, waving to get Trooper Rowlander’s attention and shared what had happened.

“The timing was fortunate, as it allowed for a quick dispatch of information to attempt to locate the suspect vehicle,” the Indiana State Police Department said.

Within minutes of Trooper Rowlader’s radio traffic, Trooper Corey Culler spotted a vehicle matching the description traveling south on I-69 near the SR8 Auburn exit. Lt. Culler was able to track this vehicle to a second gas station just off the SR8 / I-69 exit. 

Once backup officers from both ISP and the Auburn Police Department arrived, officers were then able to move in and detain the couple without incident, the press release said.

The individuals were identified as Dustin Wayne Austin, 33, of Indianapolis and Amanda Evelyn Jessup, 33, of Homer, Michigan. 

During the course of the investigation Austin was found to be wanted on an outstanding arrest warrant out of Johnson County, the press release said. A handgun and drug paraphernalia were also found in the couple’s vehicle.

Both Austin and Jessup were transported to the DeKalb County jail where they were incarcerated on charges unrelated to the actions at the Ashley Deli. 

An active investigation into the events that took place at the Ashley Deli remains ongoing by ISP Detective Mike Carroll.  Once complete, that report will be turned to the DeKalb County Prosecutor for review and determination of criminal charges to be filed at a later date.

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