Suspect's brother in South Bend police chase speaks out

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By Jessie McDonough

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --The suspect who was shot yesterday after he fled south bend police is still in critical condition tonight, but is expected to pull through.

Police say they pulled over 37-year-old Joseph Stambaugh on South Bend Avenue, eight minutes into the traffic stop, he took off.

This prompted a police chase.

The chase ended when he rammed head on into a police car on eddy street and into the Perley Elementary school sign.

The police log today says Stambaugh is being charged with aggravated assault against two officers for ramming their squad car.

But family members say he was just trying to get away and they think police went too far.

 “It boggles my mind..i don’t understand how you can shoot somebody for not stopping or even striking your car”, said the suspects brother Jeremy Stambaugh.

Jeremy Stambaugh says he was in disbelief when he heard his brother, Joseph Stambaugh fled police during a routine traffic stop and ended up getting shot seven times.

He says his brother was driving with a suspended license and tried to lose the cops to escape jail time.  He admits his brother was wrong.

“My brother wasn’t in the right..he should have stopped pulled over got arrested and did his time”, said Jeremy Stambaugh.

He even admits this isn’t his brother’s first run in with the law.

“He has a record, but never anything violent”, said Stambaugh.

Jeremy says his brother Joseph has done time for selling drugs, but he says his brother would never attempt to hurt someone especially a police officer. He says two wrongs don’t make a right.

He feels the officers went overboard.

“I think it is police brutality”, said Jeremy Stambaugh.

He says many neighbors on Eddy Street, where it all happened, have been calling his house to tell him.

They too think the officers used excessive force.

“They had multiple police officers line up and take aim like a firing squad…like he was on death row and that is what you are going to get”, said Stambaugh.

Jeremy says he knows his brother has made a lot of mistakes in his life, but he says cops need to remember people like his brother have a family too.

“I have five kids and they all love him”, said Jeremy Stambaugh.

One police officer was also taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

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