Driver arrested after allegedly hitting multiple vehicles including 4 police cars

Photo credit Bret Spelts

Photo credit Bret Spelts

Photo credit Bret Spelts

Justin Burnett

Elkhart Police responded to a hit and run accident with injuries around 6:30 p.m. Monday. While responding, an officer spotted a Jeep Compass driving away from the scene at a high rate of speed and disregarding a stop sign, police said.

The officer attempted to stop the Jeep on Oakland, but the Jeep fled and drove into a dead end on Nadel Avenue at South Shore Drive, police said.

The driver of the Jeep, later identified as 34-year-old Justin Burnett, backed into the squad car causing the airbags in the squad car to deploy, reports said.

Burnett drove around the squad car and through a fence on Nadel, then turned east on Franklin Street from South Shore Drive, police said.

There he hit a white Chevy Cobalt, police said.

The Jeep continued to Franklin and Ninth streets where it nearly collided with a Toyota pickup truck, police said.

Officers were trying to set up for a felony stop when the Jeep backed up into two squad cars, then backed into a third as it arrived on scene, police said.

Burnett then pulled forward and hit the first two squad cars again and struck the Toyota, reports said.

The driver got out of the Jeep and ran from officers. They took him into custody in the 900 block of W. Franklin Street, police said.

Police said the Jeep was stolen from Mishawaka and the license plate was stolen from Elkhart County.

Burnett was arrested on preliminary charges of possession of stolen vehicle, possession of meth, resisting law enforcement on foot and in a vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident, criminal recklessness with a vehicle.

The driver also had two active warrants for his arrest for dealing meth.

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