AUBURN, Ind. (WANE) – What began as a reported medical emergency Thursday turned into a chase and ended in an arrest of a man accused of having drugs and paraphernalia, according to the Auburn Police Department.
Officers were called to the 500 block of Touring Drive after someone saw a man slumped over the wheel of a pickup truck in the parking lot, police said. When officers arrived, they determined the man – identified as Joe Smithson – was possibly under the influence of a narcotic.
At some point while officers were asking Smithson questions, he put his truck into gear and fled from the scene, police said. Officers pursued him down to Auburn Drive where he turned into Metal Technologies. He drove through grass, causing damage to property, and then came back onto Diehl Road and headed south.
Police said Smithson turned west down a dead-end road at County Road 50 where his truck became disabled in tall weeds. He was taken into custody without injuries to himself or officers.
Inside his truck, officers found hypodermic needles and a substance that field tested positive for fentanyl. Officers also found needles along the pursuit route they believe Smithson tossed from the truck during the chase.
Officers arrested Smithson on felony counts of resisting law enforcement, possession of a narcotic drug, possession of a syringe and misdemeanor counts of driving while suspended with a prior offense and reckless driving.
Smithson told officers he fled because he has an active warrant in Allen County.