Car fleeing police hits flower shop in Elkhart

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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) — A man is in jail after fleeing an Indiana state trooper and crashing a car into a flower shop in Elkhart on Monday morning.

A soldier was attempting to stop the vehicle for multiple traffic violations just beyond the toll booth at the Indiana Toll Road Elkhart exit near Cassopolis Street just before 4 a.m.

The driver attempted to flee by driving south on Cassopolis Street, but hit a central concrete barrier and lost control. The driver then slammed into the front of the West View Florist in the 1700 block of Cassopolis, causing the front of the building to become unstable.

The driver fled, but was taken into custody as he tried to get into a passenger car. Police identified the driver as Maki Chandler, 18, of South Bend. Chandler was arrested for resisting law enforcement and taken to the Elkhart County Jail.

Meanwhile, the Elkhart Fire Department’s Tactical Rescue Team shored up the building to prevent another collapse, and the city’s building department was notified.

No injuries were reported. The investigation is ongoing.

Indiana State Police press release:

A South Bend, Indiana man is in jail after running from an Indiana state trooper and crashing into a flower shop in Elkhart this morning.

At approximately 3:55 a.m. on February 21, 2022, Rider Luis Alvarez and Rider Trainee Joshua Brown attempted to stop a red 2011 Hyundai for multiple traffic violations just beyond the toll booth at the Indiana Toll exit Road Elkhart near Cassopolis Street.

When Alvarez and Brown turned on the red and blue hazard lights of their Indiana State Police car, the driver of the Hyundai drove south on Cassopolis Street. As the driver continued to flee south, he struck the raised concrete center bulkhead and lost control of the Hyundai. The Hyundai crossed the southbound lanes and crashed in front of the West View Florist at 1717 Cassopolis Street, causing extensive damage. After passing through the front of the building, the Hyundai came to rest due to disabling damage in the southbound lanes of Cassopolis Street.

The driver, identified as Maki Chandler, 18, of South Bend, IN, then fled the scene of the accident on foot and attempted to get into a passing vehicle, but was stopped by a police department officer in ‘Elkhart near the intersection of Cassopolis Street and Bristol Street.

Chandler was arrested for resisting law enforcement and taken to the Elkhart County Jail. The Elkhart County District Attorney will review this case and determine any appropriate charges. This is an ongoing investigation.

The Indiana State Police was assisted by the Elkhart Police Department and the Elkhart Fire Department.

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