News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 23, 2013

Deputy suffers minor injury during incident

Tribune-Star staff report
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A Vigo County Sheriff’s deputy received a minor injury to his hand Tuesday night while subduing a drunken driving suspect who fled behind a North Terre Haute business.

Deputy Brent Hall was treated and released from Union Hospital following the incident involving suspect Keenan Harris, 36 of Terre Haute.

Harris sustained a cut on his head and was transported to Union Hospital for treatment. Harris had a blood-alcohol content reported at 0.29 percent, which is more than three times the legal driving limit in Indiana. He was later transferred as a precaution to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, where he remained Wednesday in stable condition.

Chief Deputy Clark Cottom reports that at 9:45 p.m. Tuesday, Hall was driving southbound on Lafayette Avenue near Haythorne when a northbound pickup truck crossed the center line and almost collided head-on with Hall’s vehicle.

Hall, who was off-duty at the time, turned his squad car around and turned on his emergency lights to pursue the suspect vehicle. The suspect driver pulled into the parking lot of a local restaurant and ran from his vehicle into a lightly wooded area. Cottom said that Hall pursued the suspect, who lunged at Hall in an attempt to tackle the deputy. Cottom said that Hall side-stepped the move and deflected Harris, who struck his head on a concrete step. Hall placed Harris in restraints, and the deputy noticed that he had also been injured in the encounter.

Indiana State Police trooper Michael Finney arrived at the scene and investigated the incident.

Criminal charges pending against Harris are driving while intoxicated, resisting arrest and battery on police.

Records at the Vigo County Jail show that Harris has an arrest history that includes alcohol-related offenses, battery and resisting arrest.