Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Police News

March 24, 2013

Early-morning vehicle chase ends at a Goshen restaurant

GOSHEN — An Elkhart man has been arrested on multiple driving-related charges following a police chase originating in Ligonier and ending at a Goshen Restaurant early Sunday morning.

According to Goshen police, officers received notice at 5:05 a.m. Sunday that a pursuit, which had originated in Ligonier following a theft of fuel, was about to enter the Goshen city limits.

As the pursuit entered Goshen city limits from the south on U.S. 33, Goshen officers reportedly assisted the originating officers in pursuit of the suspect vehicle. At that time, the suspect, later identified as Abraham Villegas, 21, reportedly homeless of Elkhart, attempted to crash his vehicle head-on into Goshen squad cars at the intersection of U.S. 33 and Keystone, and again at U.S. 33 and Dierdorff. Villegas then reportedly attempted to crash head-on with oncoming traffic, forcing a second driver, Yuli Diaz-Chavarria, Goshen, to leave her lane of travel resulting in damage to all four of her vehicle’s tires.

At approximately 5:10 a.m., while approaching the intersection of U.S. 33 and Tenth Street, Villegas reportedly lost control of his vehicle, causing it to flip multiple times and shear off a utility pole before colliding with the nearby Tequeria San Jose, causing extensive damage to the business.

At that time, Villegas and a rear passenger fled from the scene on foot, police said. The front seat passenger, a 15-year-old female, received a non-life threatening but major injury to her right knee and was transported to IU Health Goshen Hospital for treatment.

Soon after, Villegas was located in the 300 block of South 10th Street and transported to IU Heath Goshen Hospital for treatment of a minor laceration to his head and released into police custody. He was then transported to the county jail.

The rear passenger, a 14-year-old male, was later located at the intersection of Sixth Street and Lincoln Avenue. He was transported to IU Health Goshen Hospital for treatment of minor lacerations.

Villegas’ vehicle was reportedly stolen from owner Sonya Hughes of Elkhart sometime Saturday night.

Villegas currently faces multiple charges including four counts of criminal recklessness with a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident and resisting law enforcement. He also reportedly had an active warrant out of Elkhart County.

The case remains under investigation.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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