ANDERSON — A traffic stop that started in Anderson and evolved into a police pursuit involving seven police agencies ended in Pendleton with officers discovering three small children in the back seat of the vehicle.
A 2-year-old and 3-year-old were in car seats, but a 4-year-old was unrestrained sitting on the rear floorboard, according to court records.
Andrew Manley, 29, of Anderson is charged with two counts of Level 6 felony resisting law enforcement, Level 6 felony neglect of a dependent and Class A misdemeanor driving while suspending knowing violation and prior conviction within 10 years.
Authorities first attempted to stop Manley around 11:05 a.m. on Monday after spotting him in a Pontiac Aztec at a gas station at 19th and Meridian streets in Anderson, according to an affidavit of probable cause by Matt Jarrett of the Anderson Police Department.
Jarrett said he knew there were active warrants for Manley and followed him from the gas station while waiting to confirm the warrants through dispatch, according to the affidavit. He said Manley failed to use his turn signal while turning left onto 17th Street and did not stop at the stop sign on Jackson Street.
He conducted a traffic stop on Manley who pulled over with his driver’s door open on 17th Street, just east of Brown Street, according to the affidavit. Jarrett said he told Manley to close the door and Manley took off in the vehicle.
Jarrett pursued the SUV until speeds reached more than 80 miles an hour, according to the affidavit.
Less than 15 minutes after Manley was first spotted by Jarrett, he was located at the Pilot Truck Stop in Pendleton, according to an affidavit by Kelly Naselroad of the Lapel Police Department.
Naselroad said he realized the vehicle at the gas station matched the description of the one Jarrett was attempting to stop in Anderson and when he turned on his emergency lights, Manley “sped up and drove” past him.
Within the next seven minutes, Manley’s SUV led officers on a high-speed chase through three stop signs and two ditches, crossed left of center and drove straight toward a tractor-trailer causing it to leave the roadway to avoid a collision; through a plowed field, through 20 feet of wire fence and a metal fence pole and went airborne landing on the front wheels and bumper before he was stopped, Naselroad wrote.
Officers from Anderson, Pendleton, Elwood, Ingalls and the Indiana State police, along with Madison County sheriff’s deputies, assisted in the police pursuit.
Naselroad said that in addition to the children, there were two other adults in the vehicle including the children’s mother.
Manley told officers he knew he should have stopped, but he didn’t want to go to prison, Naselroad wrote. He also said he knew he put his children at risk by driving at dangerous speeds and in an erratic behavior, according to the affidavit.
The children’s mother “kept yelling at him to stop and that he was being stupid,” Naselroad wrote. The 4-year-old told Naselroad she was frightened when her “Daddy was driving fast.”