Peru, IN – A routine traffic stop early last Tuesday morning turned into a vehicle pursuit and K9 apprehension when twenty-nine-year-old Timothy Gabbard of Kokomo, IN sped away in a Chevrolet Equinox after initially stopping for Peru Police Officer Wyrick.
According to a PPD probable cause affidavit filed by Officer Wyrick, the gold Chevrolet Equinox was first observed weaving near the center line while driving east on East Main Street. Officer Wyrick then observed the vehicle pull into the McClure’s gas station in the 300 blocks of East Main.
While Officer Wyrick continued to observe the vehicle, after about 10 minutes, a female passenger got out of the vehicle and went into the store. The male driver then exited the parking lot turning south onto South Wayne Street without signaling.
Officer Wyrick continued to follow the vehicle and observed driving behavior. The driver came to a stop at the intersection of 2nd St. and South Benton, then activated the right turn signal and turned south. Officer Wyrick began to suspect the driver was attempting to evade him, so he activated his emergency lights to conduct a traffic stop.
Before stopping, the driver of the gold Chevrolet Equinox turned into the alley between Canal and 2nd Street west of Benton Street.
When Officer Wyrick approached the driver’s side door to contact the driver, the vehicle sped away at a high rate of speed for the current road conditions.
Officer Wyrick returned to his vehicle to pursue and advised dispatch of the pursuit. The report indicates that Officer Wyrick “drove in a safe manner due to the snowy road conditions of the alley and as to not cause unsafe conditions for citizens.”
The driver continued to pull away crossing the several roadways without slowing or stopping. The driver failed to signal as he turned southbound on S. Huntington with Officer Wyrick losing sight of him at that time.
A short time later, PPD Officer Brindle located the vehicle as the driver turned west on East Canal Street. The driver then proceeded north on S. Wabash Street and then east on East. 2nd Street. Officer Wyrick followed Officer Bridle and the suspect vehicle north on Clay Street from East 2nd Street.
Officers continued to follow the suspect vehicle through a number of intersections and again lost sight of the driver.
Officer Wyrick drove west on Ewing from North Clay. After no longer seeing the vehicle, he proceeded back to 6th Street. While driving east on 6th Street from North Huntington, he observed the suspect vehicle parked on the south side of the road, facing west (opposite the flow of traffic). He then observed the turn signal lights flash as if the vehicle was being remotely locked.
Officer Hagan and Wyrick then observed the female who had exited the vehicle at the McClure’s station on E. Main walking east on the south side of the roadway from the vehicle less than 50 yards from the Chevrolet.
Officer Hagan detained the female subject and placed her in handcuffs. Officer Wyrick then saw that the Chevrolet Equinox was unoccupied.
The woman was read her rights and identified. Her name was redacted from the report by the Prosecutor’s Office. Officers completed a license and warrant check and it came back as her holding a valid driver’s license with no warrants.
A search of her purse resulted in the location of the keys to the Equinox. She advised she had permission from the registered owner of the vehicle to have possession.
The report indicated that the female subject was “cooperative and polite but instantly began to not be honest.” She claimed that her sister was last in possession of the van and that she had borrowed it to go to Kentucky. She claimed it was coincidental that the vehicle was parked at this location, the same area where she was found walking.
The woman was also warm in temperatures of less than 10 degrees as if she had just left a vehicle with the heat on.
Officer Brindle arrived and began to track the male subject with his K9 partner Darro.
While Officer Brindle tracked the suspect, Officer Wyrick noted there was disabling damage to the suspect vehicle. Oil was dripping onto the ground from the underside of the vehicle and the driver side front tire had been cut and was now flat.
Wyrick also noted that the front seats of the vehicle were completely reclined, and two cell phones were inside around the center console and passenger seat area.
During the suspect track, officers located shoe prints leading from the vehicle to the suspect’s location. A male subject was detained and transported to the Peru Police Department by Deputy Sutton. The shoe prints matched the shoes the subject was wearing.
The suspect vehicle was towed to the Peru Police Department from the scene.
The man initially provided a name redacted from the report and would not provide a date of birth. Detective Feller arrived and attempted to interview the subject and he continued to not be truthful about his identity. Both the male and female subjects requested a lawyer.
Officer Wyrick then contacted and informed Miami County Deputy Prosecutor Diedrichs of the incident. Prosecutor Diedrichs agreed that probable cause existed to arrest the male subject based upon the result of the K9 track and the matching shoe prints.
Video surveillance was also obtained from the McClure’s station.
While still at the Police station, the man finally provided his proper identification to Det. Feller. The man identified himself as Timothy W. L. Gabbard, 29 of Kokomo.
A check of his driving status revealed that Timothy was a Habitual Traffic Violator on a regular ID card. He also had an active arrest warrant through Howard County.
Timothy revealed that he wished that officers had caught him while they were in the vehicle because he was being directed by a third unknown passenger to flee from police.
He informed Officer Wyrick that he wants to get out of the circle that he is involved in because threats are being made against him.
Timothy stated that he is a “driver” for people and how he is paid to drive people because he is good at it.
Timothy Gabbard, 29 of Kokomo, IN was arrested by Peru Police Department on charges of Resisting Law Enforcement With a Vehicle, Reckless Driving, Operating without ever Receiving a License and Habitual Traffic Offender. It was also reported that Timothy received a “multitude of citations for all the traffic violations he committed while the pursuit was taking place.
All criminal suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.