Man apparently high on drugs crashes car into Zelden’s, Schmitt’s in downtown LaPorte

Photos by Zelden’s owner Stephen Strycker

Murphy

A couple of downtown LaPorte institutions, Zelden’s Shoes and A.J. Schmitt Jewelry, need some unexpected facade work after an impaired driver hit the two storefronts Wednesday night, May 15, 2019.

Michael Murphy, 35, of LaPorte, sideswiped the two businesses, which stand next to one another on the northeast corner of Lincolnway at Michigan Avenue.

According to LaPorte Police, Murphy told them his steering wheel locked on his Volvo and he lost control.

Two witnesses told police they saw Murphy throw something into a nearby bush right after the crash. Police found several syringes and a spoon there. They also found other drug paraphernalia at and near the accident scene, as well as in the car and on Murphy.

Police also learned Murphy had never received a driver’s license. He also admitted he had used heroin and smoked crack cocaine earlier in the day. A crack pipe with residue of the drug was found on his person.

Murphy was charged with possession of paraphernalia, C Misdemeanor; never receiving a driver’s license, C Misdemeanor; possession of a hypodermic syringe, Level 6 Felony; and possession of cocaine, Level 6 Felony. He was being held without bail at LaPorte County Jail.  

Zelden’s was open Thursday.

9 Responses to “Man apparently high on drugs crashes car into Zelden’s, Schmitt’s in downtown LaPorte”

  1. Bob

    May 16. 2019

    Since insurance probably won’t cover it all or will take forever to pay out, is there anything us LaPorteans can do to help?

    Reply to this comment
    • Gorgeous Jim

      May 17. 2019

      Bob, Since Mr Murphy never pursued getting a drivers license, I’m sure that he also never attempted to purchase auto insurance either. As a person is required be a licensed driver to obtain auto liability insurance. Hopefully the business owners have uninsured motorist on their policy’s.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Dumb and Dumber

    May 16. 2019

    Maybe Mr. Murphy thought these two businesses had a drive-thru?
    Lucky no one was walking there at the time.
    Steering wheel locked??? That’s a new one Einstein.

    Reply to this comment
  3. SuzQuz

    May 17. 2019

    He should be strung up til he’s sober and then held 100% responsible. He needs to be tied to a lamppost and clean up the mess by himself. And then tied up somewhere else to work off what he’s done. But he will sit in jail for a time, see a judge and then be released to start the cycle all over. We’ve seen it a hundred times. I feel so badly for Zelden’s and Schmitt’s.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Frustrated citizen

    May 17. 2019

    It is very sad that this man will probably not be held responsible since he probably didn’t have Insurence. So both of these businessmen will be out money bc their Insurence premiums will go up and they will loose business during the repair time. I feel for them. I was hit by a man last fall who had no license and no Insurence. Did he get arrested? No. Did he get any consequences? A few tickets that he won’t pay. Now several months later my car has never been the same and my shoulder still hurts where my clavicle was broken. I don’t understand this new “American” way of not doing the right thing, treating people
    Right and following the law.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Lynn Lisarelli

    May 18. 2019

    How on earth and why on earth are people even allowed to drive without licenses and without adequate insurance? This is beyond me.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Thor

    May 18. 2019

    LaPorte keeps getting worse and worse. Where did these criminals come from?

    Reply to this comment
  7. Scott

    May 24. 2019

    Mike is a good guy he is a longtime friend of mine he is just going through a ruff time in he’s life the drugs got a hold of him but Mike is a good guy this guy would give you the shirt off he’s back just to know that you are warm and he’s a dam good Mechanic if something was wrong with your car he would drop what he is doing just to help a friend out he just needs help

    Reply to this comment
    • Cheryl Schoper

      May 31. 2019

      You think it’s a joke about Mike are kidding me he is sick this his mom you know nothing what he is going so don’t assume you know yes he has made a huge mistake but if it was your family member would be mad if people saying crazy stuff about them your ignorant

      Reply to this comment

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