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Chicago man found with automatic weapon after high speed chase on Borman

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A Chicago man was charged with possession of a machine gun after a police pursuit that reached speeds of more than 100 mph on Borman Expressway last weekend.

Wendell Space Jr., 30, is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, a Level 4 felony; possession of a machine gun, a Level 5 felony; alteration of a firearm’s identifying marks, a Level 4 felony; resisting law enforcement, a Level 6 felony; and misdemeanor operation a vehicle while intoxicated.

Around 2:30 a.m. on May 18, an Indiana State Police trooper was conducting radar traffic enforcement on the shoulder of eastbound Interstate 80/94 near the 1.3 mile marker when a dark blue 2004 Porsche Cayenne sped by, according to the probable cause affidavit. The officer’s radar indicated the driver was traveling at more than 100 mph. The officer pursued the car, which changed lanes rapidly toward the Indianapolis Boulevard exit, which is closed due to construction, records state. The car then changed lanes in an unsafe manner. The officer set his cruise control at 70 mph and the driver pulled away, court records state. The officer activated his emergency lights and the vehicle pulled to a stop on the right shoulder near the 3.8 mile marker.

Space told the officer he was headed to Hobart to visit his girlfriend and his child, the affidavit states. The officer observed a clear plastic cup that he suspected contained alcohol as Space’s speech was slurred and his eyes were glassy. He denied drinking alcohol, records state. The officer also smelled marijuana.

The officer asked Space whether there were weapons inside the car and Space denied there were, court records state. Space became defensive when the officer asked him to step outside the car. He shut off the car, but immediately put the key back in the ignition, turned on the car and sped away from the stop at high speeds, the affidavit states.

Space was reaching speeds of nearly 120 mph during the pursuit. The trooper tried to deploy stop sticks near the 8.4-mile marker, but Space avoided them, records state. Space continued traveling east past the I-65 merge, but then he cut to the right to get onto the Indiana Toll Road. Space’s car crashed as it tried to manage the tight curve of the ramp, then he fled the vehicle on foot, court records state.

Another officer located Space about 50 feet from the crash scene. He had suffered injuries to his face and side as he was ejected from the car on impact, the affidavit states.

In the car, police found a 40-caliber Glock 23, which had an illegal switch on it that made it fully automatic. Its serial number had been scratched off, records state.

Space had two prior felony convictions in Illinois for burglary and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon from 2013 and 2014, respectively. He also has an open case for operating a vehicle while intoxicated from January 2024 in Merrillville, court records state.

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Post-Tribune , 2024-05-23 23:54:22

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