Elkhart man arrested after pursuit with toddler in the back seat

ST. JOSEPH CO., Ind. (ADAMS) – An Elkhart man was arrested after leading an Indiana State Trooper on a pursuit and fleeing from two crashes late Friday morning.

Police say that he did all of that with a two-year-old in the back seat.

Indiana State Police say that he is now facing a list of charges.

ISP officials released the following:

Just before 11:15 a.m., Master Trooper Geoffrey Gruber stopped a gray 2013 Jeep for speeding on the US 20 Bypass in the area of Beech Road in St. Joseph County. The driver of the Jeep, later identified as, Zachary Jester, 27 of Elkhart, IN, initially pulled over and stopped for Gruber but as Gruber was standing at the front passenger window of the Jeep speaking to Jester, he put the Jeep into gear and sped away.

Jester fled from Gruber westbound on the US 20 Bypass, exiting at Elm Road and heading north. Jester fled westbound on Lincolnway in Mishawaka, IN leading Gruber down several side streets and alleys before eventually heading westbound on Mishawaka Avenue. Jester ran a red light, crashing into a brown 2008 GMC Acadia at the intersection of Ironwood and Mishawaka Avenue. Jester continued to flee south on Ironwood even though the Jeep had front end damage from the crash. The driver of the GMC complained of neck pain but declined medical attention at the scene and was going to transport herself to be checked out.

The chase headed eastbound on Lincolnway where Jester turned into a parking lot of a business in the 2300 block of Lincolnway before crashing into a fence. Jester then fled on foot but was quickly taken into custody after unsuccessfully attempting to get into the locked back door of a passing car. An adult male passenger of the Jeep remained at the scene and was not arrested. It was also discovered that Jester had his two-year-old son in the backseat, and he was improperly restrained. The two-year-old was checked by EMTs at the scene and later released to his mother.

Further investigation revealed that Jester has seven active warrants out of Elkhart County and one active arrest warrant from Whitley County. Jester was arrested and transported to the St. Joseph County Jail on the eight active arrest warrants and new *charges of Resisting Law Enforcement, Child Endangerment, Leaving the Scene of a Crash, Driving While Suspended-Prior, and Reckless Driving.

The Indiana State Police was assisted by the Mishawka Police Department.

*Indiana State Police remind that all charges are merely allegations, and all criminal defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.