INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Who pays for the damage caused after a weekend police chase? That’s the question an Indianapolis homeowner is asking.
Tim Garrard contacted 24-Hour News 8 after his property was damaged following the chase. He wasn’t sure who was responsible.
“When I walked out of the house, it looked like a tornado went through here,” said Garrard.
Garrard reacted to extensive damage outside his home caused after the chase ended in his backyard. 24-Hour News 8 learned police are not responsible for the damage, because they didn’t cause it.
“When I walked out the door that night and seen it, I thought I was having a nightmare,” said Garrard.
But it wasn’t a nightmare Garrard was having–it was real.
“My clothes line post, he took out,” he said.
Garrard’s entire fencing is now in piles after police say 29-year-old Ryan Ogden crashed into it.
“I have debris scattered all the way from here all the way through my yard, all the way back to the garden,” Garrard said. “We were out here for five hours cleaning this yesterday.”
Garrard now wants his fence replaced, but didn’t think he should spend the money to do it. He learned even though police were chasing Ogden, they are not responsible.
“We can’t be responsible for the decisions and actions of other people,” said Brownsburg Police Detective Sergeant Jennifer Pyatt-Barrett.
She said because they didn’t hit the fence, they’re not liable.
“Anything that the Brownsburg Police vehicles touched and/or collided with, we’re responsible for that damage, then off course that’s going to fall under our insurance,” said Det. Sgt. Pyatt-Barrett.
In this case, police said Ogden’s SUV caused the damage. His insurance has to pay.
“They’re actually the one’s ultimately responsible for the damages that they actually caused,” she said.
After contacting police and getting information, Garrard has been able to move forward.
“We’ve been in contact with suspects insurance company and now they are getting back with the police for the police report,” said Garrard.
Police said if Ogden didn’t have insurance, the criminal justice system offers restitution, where they go after the suspect or accused in court to get back the money the victim lost.
They also said if you’re a victim, make sure you report it, take pictures and contact your local law enforcement agency and let them know you have damage. Police said they will help put you in contact with the right parties.