CHICAGO (WBBM Newsradio) — A Lake County Ind. Sheriff’s Deputy and his police dog are recovering from injuries sustained in a 90-minute chase Thursday from Cedar Lake, Ind. into Chicago’s South Side.
Deputy Doug Parker, a 12-year veteran, and his dog Rocky were struck by another Lake County squad when the thieves ditched their stolen Mercedes Benz Thursday near 162nd Street and the Bishop Ford Freeway.
In the confusion, the suspects stole a pick-up truck from a Goodyear store on Van Dam Lane that Chicago Police ultimately curbed at 93rd and May Streets.
Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr. defended the chase, saying the thieves almost ran down a construction worker in its early stages.
“What we were doing was pursuing a felon with a stolen vehicle endangering the life of that construction worker,” Martinez said.
The chase reached speeds of up to 80 mph.
Martinez said using a helicopter allowed police squads to back off while keeping the Mercedes, and later the pick-up truck, in constant view.
Police found 13 stolen catalytic converters in the Mercedes’ trunk.
Parker escaped with scratches and bruises when hit, but the dog sustained a broken paw.
The injured deputy accompanied Rocky to Purdue University Veterinary Hospital, in West Lafayette, and was then treated at a local hospital for his scratches and bruises.
Police did not immediately identify the suspects — a 26-year-old Homewood man and a 25-year-old man from Markham — pending the filing of Illinois charges.
Both men face charges in Indiana relating to the auto theft and the pursuit. Martinez said additional charges are likely because of the catalytic converters.