Sheriff’s deputy gets an unwanted thrill ride from drunk driver

Information from LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office

A LaPorte County sheriff’s deputy got an unexpected ride — hanging on to the driver’s side door of a drunk driver — as he tried to disengage her car on U.S. 20 on Oct. 7, 2018.

At about 1:09 a.m. Deputy Josh Smith responded to a report of an unresponsive driver in the 5000 West block of U.S. 20. Smith found a Cadillac Escalade EXT in the eastbound driving lane, just east of CR 200 East. Because of construction, the lane that the Escalade was blocking was the only eastbound lane open for traffic.

Smith approached the car and saw the female driver resting her head against the window of the driver’s door. He knocked and shouted, but the woman did not respond. Smith noted from looking in the window that the car was in drive and her foot was on the brake. He found the driver’s side door to be unlocked, so he slowly opened it. The woman awoke and he identified himself, but she did not acknowledge. She then stepped on the gas pedal, causing the car to accelerate.

Smith jumped on the car’s side step and held on to the driver’s door, shouting to the woman to stop, but the car continued for another 50 feet or so before Smith was able to reach in and put the car in park, stopping it.

After sobriety tests the woman, as well as her husband who was found passed out in the back seat, were determined to be intoxicated. They were identified as Amber Wolfe, 36, and Brian Wolfe, 36, of Portage.

Amber Wolfe, whom police learned had a previous OWI, was subsequently charged with Operating While Intoxicated Endangerment, A-Misdemeanor; Operating While Intoxicated, .15 BAC, A-Misdemeanor; and Operating While Intoxicated, C-Misdemeanor. She was transported to LaPorte County Jail.

Brian Wolfe was taken home by a relative.

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