ISP: Man led police on three-county chase, spit in officer’s face

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A man with a stolen vehicle led police on a three-county chase and then spit in a police officer’s face when they tried to arrest him, Indiana State Police Sgt. Rich Myers said.

One person was taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital with minor injuries as a result of the chase, which ended in a crash in downtown Indianapolis.

Myers said the chase began in Putnam County shortly before 9 a.m. after a Putnam County deputy saw the suspect vehicle speeding and driving recklessly. Police say the vehicle was believed to have been stolen from a car dealership in Illinois overnight.

The pursuit continued on I-70, reaching speeds of up to 120 mph. Police say at one point, the suspect’s vehicle swerved into the emergency shoulder and almost hit an ISP motorcycle trooper.

The pursuit went along the interstate before the man exited at West Street in downtown Indy. After driving over stop sticks, which police use to stop fleeing cars, he continued but hit a Ford Taurus. The Taurus crashed into a woman riding a bicycle. The bicyclist was taken to the hospital with leg and back main. The driver of the Taurus was treated at the crash scene for cuts.

When he crashed the vehicle, Myers said the man ran into a parking garage near Meridian and Maryland streets and was confronted by an IMPD officer. The officer had to tackle the man to the ground after Myers said the man refused to listen to police orders.

During the process of his arrest, the man spit in an IMPD officer’s face, Myers said. As a result, they covered his head with clothing when taking him into custody.

The suspect has been identified as 23-year-old Torvon E. Davis, of Indianapolis. He was released to Putnam County authorities and taken to the Putnam County Jail.

Torvon E. Davis (Provided Photo/Indiana State Police)
Torvon E. Davis (Provided Photo/Indiana State Police)

Police say Davis will be facing multiple charges in Marion County including resisting law enforcement with a motor vehicle causing injury, a Class C felony, possession of a stolen vehicle, a Class D felony, leaving the scene of a personal injury crash, a Class D felony, criminal recklessness with a motor vehicle, a Class A misdemeanor and battery waste on a police officer, a Class D felony along with several traffic related charges. He will also be facing criminal charges in Putnam County, Indiana and the State of Illinois.

According to a release, the bicyclist was taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital and was listed in stable condition Thursday afternoon.

Police say they would like to remind motorists and bicyclists to remain aware of their surroundings at all times. Officers say the bicyclist injured in this crash was possibly unaware of approaching police cars with their sirens on because she was listening to music with ear buds.

Police also say it was a great accomplishment that no one was seriously injured during the chase, toward the end of rush hour through the heart of downtown. The crash raised questions about police policy on chases through busy areas.

“I think we dodged a bullet. When citizens flee the police, they’re putting everybody at risk and it’s not worth it,” said IMPD Sargent Randy Dodd.

Indiana State Police say there is a commander constantly monitoring chases from the moment it starts until the moment it ends. Policy is to call off the chase, if it gets out of control or puts civilians in too great of danger.

“I was listening to our police radio, and I knew they had the situation under control. Because our pursuit policy is that anytime they think it’s out of control or it doesn’t warrant what we’re doing, they’re going to call it off. But this gentleman obviously had no regard for anyone’s safety that was out there, ” said Myers.

Myers also said that commanders consider everything from weather conditions, road conditions, the reason the suspect is fleeing and the level of the suspect’s aggression.

In this case, Davis showed extreme aggression as he drove straight toward motorcycle officers, in what police call an attempt to intimidate.

“So this gentleman had no regard for anyone’s safety up there and we knew for everyone’s safety out here that he had to be stopped and taken in,” said Myers.

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