Deputies Tase unruly man who used false name; find 54 credit cards, pot in car

Press release and photos from LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office


On Saturday, May 13, 2017, LaPorte County Sheriff’s Deputy Jon Samuelson made a traffic stop on a vehicle for a speeding violation on U.S. 20 east of Ind. 39. During the course of the traffic stop and while speaking with the two occupants of the vehicle, Samuelson detected a very strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Sheriff’s Sergeant Adam Hannon arrived to assist. Samuelson observed a large amount of what appeared to be credit cards that were partially concealed near the center counsel of the vehicle.

Suspecting that the vehicle may have been used in drug trafficking, Hannon and Samuelson were in the process of handcuffing the two occupants of the vehicle when the passenger fled on foot. The passenger was running down a steep embankment on the north side of U.S. 20 when he was caught by Hannon and Samuelson; however, he then began to physically resist being handcuffed. Samuelson deployed his Taser using a drive stun technique in the suspect’s right shoulder and upper back. The Taser had the desired affect and the suspect was then handcuffed.

The driver, a 34-year-old from Chicago, obeyed deputies’ commands to remain near the car and was compliant during the entire incident. He was later released from the scene.

Due to a complaint of pain to his ankle, the passenger was transported to LaPorte Hospital, where he was diagnosed with a broken left ankle. It is believed that the injury occurred when he was fleeing down the embankment.

Hannon suffered minor abrasions to his right forearm during the altercation.

Once the suspect had been released from the hospital, he was transported to the LaPorte County Jail for processing. The suspect maintained that he was Jonathan Cooke and that he had no previous arrests. Because they suspected he was not telling the truth, deputies sent a photograph of the suspect to Chicago Police, who maintain facial  recognition software. It took Chicago Police approximately 30 minutes to determine that the suspect’s true identity was Norman Edward Smith of Chicago. Having his correct identity, deputies were able to discover that Smith was wanted on two outstanding warrants in Wisconsin: one warrant for escape and a second warrant for failure to appear for an armed robbery charge. Smith was also wanted for failure to appear for felony identity theft warrant in Cook County, IL.

The vehicle, a black 2016 Nissan Altima, was impounded and a search warrant was requested through the LaPorte County Prosecutor’s Office. La Porte Superior Court Judge Greta Friedman approved the search warrant for the vehicle. During the subsequent search of the vehicle, a total of 54 credit cards were found, as well as 22 cartons of Newport cigarettes along with 34 loose packs of Newport cigarettes. It is suspected that the credit cards are fraudulent and may have been used to purchase the cigarettes. The investigation into the credit cards in continuing with a call for assistance from the United States Secret Service.

Smith was found to have a lengthy criminal history including credit card forgery, resisting arrest, unauthorized use of an identity, armed robbery, theft, aggravated battery with a firearm, possession of a controlled substance, and operating while intoxicated. For this incident, Smith is being charged in LaPorte Superior Court 4 with the charges listed below:

  • Resisting Law Enforcement~ “A” misdemeanor
  • Possession of Marijuana~ “B” misdemeanor
  • Fraud~ level 6 felony
  • Counterfeiting~ level 6 felony
  • Counterfeiting a Government Document~ “A” misdemeanor
  • Identity Deception~ level 6 felony
  • False Identity Statement~ “A” misdemeanor

Smith was scheduled to appear in LaPorte Superior Court 4 on May 15.


LaPorte County Sheriff John Boyd praised the efforts of Deputy Samuelson, who recently received training in drug interdiction. Boyd was also thankful that Sergeant Hannon suffered only minor injuries while taking the suspect into custody. “There are two major points that stand out from this case; first and foremost is the incredibly inherent danger that our deputies face each day. This was a traffic stop that rapidly turned into a serious felony case in a matter of seconds. Secondly, I hope that the public sees the efforts being put forth by the patrol deputies of the sheriff’s office. With the high frequency of crashes on this particular stretch of U.S. 20, our deputies have continued their increased presence. It is this type of dedication and attention to duty that led to the arrest of a felon and fugitive.”

6 Responses to “Deputies Tase unruly man who used false name; find 54 credit cards, pot in car”

  1. WWJD

    May 15. 2017

    great to see the added patrols

    Reply to this comment
  2. lawman

    May 15. 2017

    again ”a lengthy criminal history” and he is out committing more crimes. lets bring back three strikes and your out even though it might offend the bleeding hearts.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Steve

    May 15. 2017

    Drugs help to catch Criminals ! 🙂

    Reply to this comment
  4. Greg Dadlow

    May 16. 2017

    Thank you.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Ggottio

    May 16. 2017

    Great work. Get these thugs off the street

    Reply to this comment
  6. Jim Lofton

    May 16. 2017

    Great work by all involved and I big APPLAUSE to outside law

    enforcement departments, who with modern technowledgies, helping

    for the greater good.

    Reply to this comment

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