Police chase ends with crash in Mishawaka

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. – A police chase ended with a crash in Mishawaka, injuring four people on Sunday night, according to St. Joseph County Metro Homicide. 

A Mishawaka Police officer's gun was discharged during a struggle with the suspect after that crash, but no one was hit, according to CMHU.

According to police, the incident started Sunday around 9:45 p.m. when an officer saw a vehicle near Main and Indian Lakes closely matching the description of one police were looking for in connection with a homicide in Central Park last week.  Police would later determine that the vehicle in question was not the one sought in that investigation.

The officer checked the license plate, and found the vehicle was reported stolen. The officer tried pulling the car over, but the driver took off.

After driving at a high rate of speed, the vehicle rear-ended an SUV near Main and Lawrence.  The driver and a small child in the SUV were shaken up, but weren't badly hurt.

According to investigators, officers approached the car that had fled, and got into a struggle with the driver. 

During that struggle, one of the officer's weapons discharged.  No one was hit, but the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit was called to investigate, which is protocol when an officer's weapon is fired while on duty.

The driver and a passenger of the car that fled were taken to the hospital for minor injuries. Neither is wanted in connection with the Central Park case.

The driver of the suspect vehicle was identified on Monday afternoon as 22-year-old Carter Morse, according to CMHU.

Morse was taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries suffered in the crash. He will be transported to a medical facility in Indianapolis for an unrelated medical condition that is not COVID-19 related, officials said.

Police said Morse is wanted on outstanding warrants from another county in Indiana.

Morse's passenger, a woman, cooperated with police and was released from the hospital. She was not arrested.

The Mishawaka Police officer who discharged his weapon during the arrest, Patrolman Jason Barthel, has been placed on administrative leave per the department's policy while the investigation is ongoing. 

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