Chicago man allegedly dragged 2 NW Indiana officers with SUV
CROWN POINT, Ind. -- A Chicago man faces nearly a dozen felony charges after he allegedly dragged two police officers with an SUV, running over one of them, as they investigated a disturbance at a northwestern Indiana home.
A Lake County magistrate entered not guilty pleas on behalf of Ernest L. Hoover Jr. and set bail at $100,000 during his Wednesday initial hearing. Hoover is charged with 11 felony counts, including resisting law enforcement and attempted residential entry, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.
The Lake County Sheriff's Department said two officers were called to a Dyer couple's home about 6 a.m. Monday on reports that a man was repeatedly ringing their doorbell and walking back and forth between their porch and an SUV parked in their driveway.
Officer Alex Gallegos arrived and began talking with Hoover, whom he determined had an active warrant in Lake County, court records state.
Gallegos began struggling with Hoover, trying to take him into custody, when Sheriff's Officer Michael Maggi arrived and began helping Gallegos in the arrest. But Hoover somehow got into his SUV, accelerated in reverse and allegedly dragged both officers for several feet until they fell off.
The SUV hit Maggi in the left leg, knocking him to the side of the vehicle, while one of Gallegos' legs hit the concrete and the SUV's tire ran over his right foot, causing him to fall and strike his head on the concrete.
Hoover fled the scene in his SUV but was later found behind a business in St. John, where he was attempting to change a flat tire on the vehicle.
Both officers were placed on medical leave due to various injuries.