Ride from good Samaritan brings pursuit suspect back to police

Thursday, April 14, 2022

PUTNAMVILLE — Allegedly fleeing from the police on foot, a Lafayette man had the good fortune to be picked up by a passing good Samaritan.

However, Aaron N. Bassett did not know that the ride would take him right back to police.

The 33-year-old now finds himself in the Putnam County Jail facing several criminal charges.

At around 7:40 p.m. on Tuesday, Indiana State Trooper Austin Fowler observed a blue vehicle traveling westbound on Interstate 70 near the 36-mile marker

(five miles west of Cloverdale) with an expired license plate. A traffic stop was initiated, and the vehicle came to a stop in the emergency lane.

Fowler made contact with the male driver and immediately detected criminal activity.

The driver, identified as Bassett, was then asked to exit the vehicle. However, police allege that Bassett disregarded the request and drove away, traveling westbound on Interstate 70.

Fowler immediately returned to his patrol car, giving chase. At this point, Bassett is alleged to have made “an abrupt and illegal U-turn” at the 35-mile marker, even clipping the side of a semi tractor-trailer as he began traveling eastbound on I-70.

The pursuit continued eastbound, reaching speeds in excess of 110 mph before a flat front tire caused the vehicle to go into the median.

As it was coming to a stop in the median, the driver bailed on foot and took off running. Fowler exited his vehicle and gave commands for the suspect to stop, but the commands were disregarded, and he pursued on foot.

Several other troopers of the Putnamville Post arrived on scene in an attempt to locate the suspect.

A good Samaritan, traveling on County Road 900 South, saw the suspect walking and offered him a ride. Unbeknownst to Bassett, the good Samaritan, thinking he needed help, took him to where the police were located.

As they grew closer to the police lights, the suspect, understanding where he was being taken, is alleged to have jumped out of the moving vehicle in an attempt to evade the police once again.

Master Trooper Todd Brown, who was in the immediate area, was able to take Bassett into custody.

Further investigation by Trooper Fowler revealed that Bassett had an active felony warrant out of Marion County for domestic violence. He also displayed signs of impairment and was provided the opportunity to submit to a certified chemical test but refused.

Once Bassett was medically cleared at the Putnam County Hospital, he was arrested and taken to the Putnam County Jail where he remained as of Thursday morning.

Besides the warrant, Bassett was initially taken into custody for Level 6 felony resisting law enforcement, Class A misdemeanor driving while intoxicated-refusal, Class A misdemeanor reckless driving, Class A misdemeanor driving without ever receiving a licnese and Class B misdemeanor leaving the scene of a crash.

In Putnam Superior Court on Wednesday, the Putnam County Prosecutor’s Office formally charged Bassett with one crime — Level 6 felony resisting law enforcement using a vehicle.

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  • At least the Good Samaritan wasn't harmed.

    -- Posted by Queen53 on Thu, Apr 14, 2022, at 2:38 PM
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