LAKE COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – Charges have been filed against the man who held a car salesman from Hobart against his will on a test drive that ended in a fiery crash on the Toll Road Wednesday.
Indiana State Police said that LeDarien Devontae Deshon Gregory, 29, of Hammond is facing the following charges:
- Kidnapping- Level 2 Felony
- Kidnapping- Level 3 Felony
- Auto Theft- Level 6 Felony
- Identity Deception- Level 6 Felony
- Operating a Vehicle Without Ever Receiving a License- Class C Misdemeanor
Around 4:30 p.m., the Indiana State Police (ISP) Lowell Regional Dispatch Center received a 911 call from a passenger in a 2009 Kia Borrego that was traveling on the Toll Road near the 10 mile marker. The caller said that he was being held against his will in an SUV that had been taken for a test drive.
The driver was reported to be driving at a high rate of speed and refused to pull over to let the victim get out of the SUV, the caller told dispatch. The Kia had been taken for a test drive with the salesperson from Bosco Family Motors, located in Hobart.
While the caller was on 911 with dispatchers, the driver of the Kia rear-ended a semi-trailer at a high rate of speed, ISP said. The car then caught on fire with the victim partially trapped inside the vehicle.
ISP said the victim was pulled out of the vehicle by Good Samaritans who stopped to help as troopers helped and put out the vehicle fire.
The driver of the Kia, later identified as Gregory, 29, was found walking away from the scene.
Both the Gregory and victim were transported to a Gary hospital for treatment. The victim was later flown to a Maywood hospital for treatment of serious injuries. His condition has not been released.
Gregory has since been released from the hospital and transported to the Lake County Jail, ISP said. He is being held on a probable cause hold for charges to be determined by the Lake County Prosecutor.
During the investigation, officers learned that Gregory provided false information to Bosco Family Motors to take a vehicle for what was believed to be a test drive. During that drive, the Gregory accelerated to over 100 mph before rear-ending a semi-trailer.
ISP said the driver of the semi was not injured.
The Indiana State Police Lowell Criminal Investigations Division responded to the scene and is continuing to investigate this incident.