Police chase ends in arrest for DWI, resisting law enforcement

Staff Writer Kate Wehlann

Indiana State Trooper Eric Powers was traveling south on North Main Street around 3:30 a.m. on June 22, entering the Salem square, when he saw a white sports motorcycle and a cruiser motorcycle enter the square from an alley off West Poplar. Salem Police Officer Chris Cauble was traveling behind them. Powers recognized the motorcycles from earlier in his shift parked in front of Slimo’s.

The sports motorcycle turned south on South Main Street, followed by Cauble, and Powers followed the other motorcycle as it turned east on East Market Street. As Powers passed South High Street, he saw Cauble turn on his emergency lights and try to stop the sports motorcycle for disregarding a stop sign and speeding. Then he heard Cauble on the radio that the sports motorcycle was failing to yield and he was in pursuit. Powers went to assist.

They followed the motorcycle as it sped down High Street, running every stop sign it approached and some red lights as it approached the square again, turning the wrong way onto the square and exited again on East Market Street, reaching speeds of up to 55 mph, turning north on N. Heritage Chapel Road, then back onto State Road 56 toward Salem, reaching speeds of 75 mph in a 55 mph zone. The motorcycle turned south on Elizabeth Street, then North on E. Walnut Street (the wrong way on a one-way street), continuing to disregard all stop signs until East Walnut came to an end just west of Washington Boulevard.
The driver, later identified as Jonathan Neil Hayes, 34, Henryville, laid the motorcycle down then and fled on foot. Salem Police Officer Russell Wilcoxson, who had taken the lead in the pursuit at this point, left his vehicle and tackled Hayes about 40 yards away from the discarded bike. Hayes declared he was done resisting.

Powers handcuffed Hayes and said he could smell alcohol on Hayes.

Hayes apologized several times and said he shouldn’t have run from police. Powers gave Hayes a preliminary breathalizer test and Hayes blew a .108. Hayes stated he didn’t “want to cause any more problems,” and consented to a blood draw.

He was taken to St. Vincent-Salem Hospital for the official test, which resulted in a .129 ACE. While the nurse was drawing blood, Powers said Hayes made statement about wanting help with his drub problem.

After the blood draw was completed, Hayes began having trouble walking and said he didn’t feel well. He told Powers he’d done some meth at Slimo’s. Hayes became very ill and medical treatment was given immediately by St. Vincent staff before Hayes had to be transported to Baptist Health Floyd Hospital for further treatment.

Hayes was booked at the Washington County Detention Center on Monday, June 26 with the following preliminary charges: resisting law enforcement, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, operating a vehicle while intoxicated per se.


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