Dash cam video released: Officer cleared in fatal police pursuit
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office has reviewed the pursuit and fatal motorcycle crash that happened on May 26 on Jefferson Road and will not be filing charges in connection with the pursuit. The passenger is now facing charges for the initial incident that allegedly led to the chase.
The motorcycle's operator, 46-year-old John Williams, died in the crash.
Just before 1 a.m., Mishawaka Police were called to the Phoenix Bar on Lincolnway West because a woman alleged 41-year-old Rebecca Mack struck her.
Mack allegedly hit the victim because the victim kissed Williams on the cheek, according to police reports.
While speaking with officers, witnesses pointed to a woman on the back of a motorcycle and said she was the person who committed the battery, reports said.
Patrolman Andrew Sark got into his patrol car and caught up to the motorcycle in the area of Lincolnway and Cedar as it turned northbound on Cedar.
The officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the motorcycle, but it did not stop, reports said.
The motorcycle traveled eastbound on Mishawaka Avenue, north on Willow, then eastbound onto Jefferson. The officer noted Williams failed to stop at stop signs or traffic lights, according to reports.
On Jefferson, Williams lost control of the motorcycle and crashed at the Marathon gas station in the 13000 block of E. Jefferson at 1:15 a.m.
Williams was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mack was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
The St. Joseph County Fatal Crash Team conducted the investigation.
FACT determined Williams traveled at high rates of speed, disregarded traffic control devices and did not stop for the officer in pursuit with lights activated.
At the time of the crash Patrolman Sark was a 'substantial distance' from the crash site.
FACT determined Sark was not criminally at fault in the crash and the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office determined no criminal charges would be filed for the pursuit.
Mack has been charged with one count of battery, a class A misdemeanor, for the alleged incident at the bar.
Mack will be in court for her initial hearing on July 11.
The Mishawaka Police Department is conducting its own internal investigation to make sure all policies and procedures were followed. MPD pursuit policy states an officer can pursue anyone if there is probable cause that a crime was committed.
"I've seen nothing that makes me believe he did something wrong." Chief Kenneth Witkowski, Jr., said about Sark.
Sark has been given paid time off since the incident.
He's been with the department for nearly two years. He has no disciplinary history and one accommodation for rendering aid to an injured person at a crash scene.