TERRE HAUTE — Police arrested the driver of a vehicle involved in a high-speed chase up and down Third Street through the city Monday night.
First Sgt. Jeff Bell of the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department was driving south on Third Street near Oak Street a little past 11 p.m. when a Pontiac Grand Am passed the deputy’s fully marked Sheriff’s Department vehicle in the right lane at an “extremely high rate of speed,” according to a VCSD news release.
Bell activated his emergency lights in an attempt to stop the vehicle, which continued south, running a red light at Third and Hulman streets.
Bell continued his pursuit and observed the car pass several vehicles while in the center lane, kicking up a large cloud of dust.
After a moment, Bell then observed the same vehicle coming back north on Third north of Voorhees Street and continuing at an excessive speed. Bell followed the car back north and saw its driver disregarding red lights at Walnut, Ohio, Wabash and Cherry. At this point, a Terre Haute Police Department unit joined the pursuit.
Soon after, the car immediately stopped in the left lane of Third near Chestnut Street and the driver got out of the vehicle and lay face down on the ground with his hands behind his back. The driver was later identified as Derek Joseph Harlan, formerly of Staunton. Harlan was secured by the police at the scene and reportedly told Bell he wanted to get arrested and be taken to jail. Harlan said he believed he was wanted for domestic battery; however, he was found to have no outstanding warrants, the news release stated.
Harlan didn’t reply when asked why he did not simply stop as soon as he saw he was being pursued by police, according to the release. Harlan was taken to Vigo County Jail and charged with felony resisting arrest with a motor vehicle and misdemeanor criminal recklessness with a motor vehicle.