Subject of multi-county manhunt arrested

Justin A. Heintzelman

The subject of a hours-long manhunt along State Road 1 north of Grabill last month has been arrested.

It was early May 29 when a DeKalb County deputy initiated a traffic stop on southbound Interstate 69 near the S.R. 8 interchange near Auburn. As the officer spoke with the male driver, police said he sped off from the stop – striking the deputy with the driver’s side door of his SUV.

DeKalb County deputies, Indiana State Police troopers and Allen County Sheriff’s deputies all combined to pursue the vehicle.

After a pursuit through Allen and DeKalb Counties, officers spent hours Tuesday morning searching for a suspect, but ended the manhunt with no arrests.

According to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department, the SUV drove into a field off S.R. 1 near the county line and the driver and passenger both ran off on foot, police said.

An Indiana State Police helicopter and a drone from the Fort Wayne Police Department flew along the St. Joseph River looking for the suspect. Allen County K-9s were also deployed in the manhunt, the release said.

The suspects were not found and the search was called off.

Police said then, though, that DeKalb County deputies were still continuing the investigation and that charges would be filed with the prosecutor’s office once the investigation was complete.

On Thursday, DeKalb County police said they had arrested Justin A. Heintzelman of Grabill on Tuesday on charges of Resisting law Enforcement with a Vehicle, Battery to a Law Enforcement Officer, Theft and Reckless Driving, all related to the late May incident. A warrant had been issued for his arrest and he was taken into custody later that day by police in Allen County.

Police wrote in a news release that Heintzelman was towing a trailer at the time that had been stolen out of Defiance, Ohio.

Heintzelman is being held in the DeKalb County Jail without bond.

The passenger in Heintzelman’s vehicle still has not been identified.

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