SUBJECT: West Side Pursuit Ends with an Arrest on the Campus of USI
RELEASE NUMBER: 2020-NR-020
CONTACT: Col. Noah Robinson / Sgt. Erik Nilssen
AUTHORITY: Sheriff Dave Wedding
A reckless driver is in jail this evening after fleeing from a sheriff’s deputy onto the campus of the University of Southern Indiana.
On Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 6:35pm, a Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office deputy observed a maroon Kia Optima abruptly travel across three lanes of the westbound Lloyd Expressway near the University Parkway. Motorists in the area had to make evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision.
A sheriff’s deputy attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver fled south on the University Parkway at a high rate of speed. Deputies pursued the vehicle into the USI round-about intersection; following as the vehicle drove around the round-about three times while squealing its tires.
USI Public Safety officers had the entrance to USI restricted to one-lane in order to notify oncoming vehicles that campus access was restricted due to COVID-19. The checkpoint consisted of a small building, a large red “STOP” sign, along with two fully-marked USI Public Safety vehicles present. USI Public Safety officers were standing next to the “checkpoint” as the fleeing vehicle approached.
Deputies continued pursuing the vehicle as it traveled south on University Boulevard, onto the campus of the University of Southern Indiana. The vehicle drove through the campus checkpoint at high speed before striking speed bumps. The vehicle voluntarily stopping in front of the PAC Arena as additional deputies, who were regularly assigned to USI, arrived in the area. Due to the COVID-19 preventative measures, the USI campus had previously suspended on-campus classes and no students or faculty was present during this incident.
Deputies successfully apprehended the driver of the vehicle and secured him in handcuffs. The driver, identified as Steven Eugene Edwards II, gave deputies multiple contradicting reasons as to why he did not yield to an emergency vehicle. A search of Mr. Edwards’ vehicle revealed marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Steven Eugene Edwards II (pictured above), 34, of Indianapolis, IN. Resisting Law Enforcement as a Level 6 Felony, Reckless Driving as a Class A Misdemeanor, Criminal Recklessness as a Class A Misdemeanor, Violation of a State Emergency Order as a Class B Misdemeanor, Possession of Marijuana as a Class B Misdemeanor
Presumption of Innocence Notice: The fact that a person has been arrested or charged with a crime is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.