Clark County, IN — A dramatic high-speed chase involving the Indiana State Police was captured on video Thursday as it came to a violent end in an Indiana corn field. Unlike many high-speed chases in the past caught on video, the camera in the chopper above did not pan away when the violence began.
The chase, which lasted for 45 minutes, began in a different town and involved a suspect who was wanted for stealing purses. Robert Ellis was wanted for thieving purses from women at gas stations while they were inside paying or pumping gas.
"It looks like he's getting gas and most people are not aware of their surroundings and what he's actually doing, he's watching you," Detective Chris Starks said in a report looking for thier suspect. "As that person is punching in their code, or punching in their payment type on the gas pump, that's when he strikes."
His crimes, if he is found guilty, certainly warrant punishment, especially if he caused injury to anyone in the process, but not from cops acting as judge, jury, and executioner.
However, that appears to be what happened.
After leading police through multiple rural areas, Ellis turned off into a cornfield off Highway 60 in Clark County. As Ellis cruises across the field, more than 20 police cruisers are seen in pursuit with at least a dozen breaking off the road to pursue him through the farmland.
Ellis spins out and loses control, sending the backend of his red pickup truck into an irrigation canal. He was effectively stopped at this point.
After his vehicle was immobilized, police, as they should, got out with guns drawn. However, as we see Ellis put his hands out the window in an obvious attempt to surrender, he is swarmed by cops ready to end this chase with blows from their fists.
More than a dozen officers join in on the attack. Even though officers moved Ellis to the other side of the cruiser in a what looked like an attempt to shield their attack from the news chopper above, from the camera angle, we can still see multiple cops deliver blow after blow. One cop even sprawls out across the hood of the car in an attempt to get in on the action.
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After several cops were seen punching him, despite no reports of a weapon, and the fact that we can see him in handcuffs, police continue to punch and shove Ellis.
Again, he may very well deserve this treatment for his actions, but it is not the job of police to punish, especially considering how often they are simply wrong.
As WLKY reports, a spokesman for Indiana State police said it's difficult to comment on the situation not knowing the exact details on whether or not the suspect was armed with a weapon or resisting arrest.
"I cannot see the suspect that's on the ground, I do not know what the suspect is doing. I do know we have several officers that are trying to take that person into custody. But, I can tell you this, if there were any improprieties by the Indiana state police trooper our superiors will review that video and that trooper will be held accountable for it. Again, if that happened we will stand responsible for anything that happens that any of our troopers could possibly do, we'll stand responsible for that," Indiana State police Sgt. Jerry Goodin said.
Police found more than a dozen purses in Ellis' vehicle, which more likely than not means he is guilty. Sadly, however, their handling of Ellis while apprehending him may result in a bad person receiving taxpayer money in the form of a lawsuit against his abusers — the cops.
This case is particularly similar to the famous chase out of Apple Valley, CA that did end with the taxpayers being held liable for almost $1 million.
As TFTP previously reported, three sheriff’s deputies were charged with felony assault after a video captured them beating an unarmed man surrendering to officers. After falling off his stolen horse, Francis Pusok dropped onto his stomach with his arms and legs outstretched. But video caught several police officers surrounding Pusok, striking him in the head and the groin as he surrendered with his hands behind his back.