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Indiana man leaves trail of destruction, drives into lake

WARSAW, Ind. (WANE) – The driver of a car in Warsaw early Saturday morning fled from police and left a trail of destruction before driving into a lake.

Around 3:20 a.m., a Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department deputy spotted a vehicle with no head or tail lights. The deputy and an officer from the Winona Lake Police Department found the vehicle on East Winona Avenue. A department report said the vehicle appeared to be stuck in the snow, but the driver broke free and took off.

During the pursuit, the driver struck a Winona Lake police vehicle and continued on Smith Street. The driver then struck a newspaper box near Detroit Street all while turning the lights of the vehicle off and on, according to the report.

Investigators said the driver also caused damage to property belonging to the Warsaw Parks Department.

The driver – identified as Benny D. Fitzpatrick, 29, Warsaw — jumped from the vehicle near the boat ramp to Center Lake. Fitzpatrick tried to run but was eventually captured by police. The vehicle ended up in the lake.

Fitzpatrick has been initially charged with resisting/fleeing law enforcement, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, failure to stop after an accident, and refusal to submit to a chemical test.

He is being help in the Kosciusko County Jail on $7,500 bond.

Firefighters were called to the lake to check for any passengers that might have been in the vehicle. No one else was found and no injuries were reported.