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Charges Likely Wednesday Against Man Who Attacked Merrillville Cop

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MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (STMW) – Police are trying to nail down details about a man who was shot by an off-duty Merrillville police officer after the two engaged in a physical altercation outside of the Merrillville Planned Parenthood Health Center on Monday afternoon.

Major Crimes Task Force spokesman Bob Byrd said attempted murder of a law enforcement officer charges will be filed on Wednesday against the 43-year-old suspect with the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office.

The man underwent surgery for the gunshot wound Monday night and was recovering Tuesday in the intensive care unit under police guard, Byrd said.

Shortly before 4 p.m. Monday, the man returned to his semi tractor-trailer, which he had left in the Planned Parenthood parking lot hours earlier. The officer, who works security for the health center, had issued two citations to the truck and wanted to speak to the driver.

The driver started punching the officer and the fight drifted into an adjacent lot. The officer was on the ground with the driver on top delivering multiple punches. The officer pulled out his gun and shot the driver in the stomach.

The officer was treated and released from the hospital.

The suspect’s identity is still being withheld pending the filing of charges, but police are still trying to nail down where he is from.

“He has multiple addresses, which is pretty standard for a truck driver who is on the move,” Byrd said.

The driver’s truck had an Oregon license plate, but the driver had been arrested by the Atlanta, Ga., police three times in the past several years, including one incident of domestic violence. Byrd said police aren’t sure if the driver owned and operated his own truck, drove for a company, or subleased the truck.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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