UPDATE: Passenger in Oct. 21 police chase apprehended

Information from La Porte County Sheriff’s Office

Travis Hatchel

On Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, Travis E. Hatchel, 33, was located and arrested at a residence within the Countryside Village Mobile Home Community (1001 S. Mayflower Rd., South Bend).

Members of the Fugitive Apprehension Street Team (FAST) conducted a followup investigation from anonymous tips given by citizens. As a result, Hatchel was located and taken into custody.

Hatchel had been a wanted person by the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office and St. Joseph County authorities. In addition, he was being sought for his involvement in the Oct. 21 vehicle pursuit in La Porte County. Hatchel was being held in the La Porte County Jail without bond.

Assisting FAST were members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the South Bend Police Department, the La Porte County Drug Task Force and the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Division.

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Nicholas Cook

Original information: The La Porte County Sheriff’s Office and the Valparaiso Police Department released this joint statement regarding an Oct. 21, 2019, vehicle pursuit.

At approximately 4 p.m., Valparaiso officers were working the Domestic Highway Enforcement Program in La Porte County along I-94.  The officers saw a Cadillac commit a traffic infraction. The officers attempted a traffic stop in the area of U.S. 421 and I-94. The car failed to stop, resulting in a pursuit.  

The pursuit traveled into Michigan City and then back into the rural areas of La Porte County. Deputies from the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office assisted as the pursuit continued through the northern portion of the county before eventually traveling into La Porte.   

At about 5 p.m., the pursuit ended in the area of Fail Road and CR-200 North. The driver and passenger immediately got out of the car and ran toward the area of the La Porte Village Manufactured Home Community. A perimeter was quickly established, and a lengthy search ensued. 

The driver of the vehicle was eventually located and arrested: Nicholas S. Cook, 34, of New Carlisle. Cook was transported to the La Porte County Jail for the following charges: Resisting Law Enforcement (Level 6 Felony), Resisting Law Enforcement (A-Misdemeanor), Driving While Suspended (A-Misdemeanor), Aggressive Driving (A-Misdemeanor), Reckless Driving (B-Misdemeanor), and Criminal Recklessness (B-Misdemeanor). Cook was being held on a $755 cash-only bond.    

The passenger, who remained at large as of Oct. 22, has been identified as Travis E. Hatchel, 33, of La Porte. Hatchel was already a wanted person by the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office and authorities in St. Joseph County.  

Hatchel is 5’11” tall, weighs approximately 160 pounds, has hazel eyes and brown hair. It’s possible that Hatchel no longer has facial hair and his hair color is lighter now.  

If you know the whereabouts of Hatchel, you are encouraged to provide your anonymous tips to Sergeant Brett Swanson of the Fugitive Apprehension Street Team (FAST).  Sergeant Swanson may be reached by calling or texting (219) 363-9623.

The Domestic Highway Enforcement program is a high-intensity drug trafficking area program/initiative designed to disrupt the flow of drugs and weapons moving domestically.

9 Responses to “UPDATE: Passenger in Oct. 21 police chase apprehended”

  1. Judge Roy Bean

    Oct 22. 2019

    A $755 cash only bond is all this guy got for all of those charges and putting lives at risk???
    Why don’t you just give him a get out of jail free card.
    Unbelievable!!!

    Reply to this comment
  2. lawman

    Oct 22. 2019

    this is why crime is escalating-NO PUNISHMENT. politicians already pressing for ”no jail time” for anything but violent crime. go figure

    Reply to this comment
  3. Nurse ratchet

    Oct 22. 2019

    ^^^these two commentators clearly have doctor-it degrees in criminal justice given all of there intelligent comments on this site keep up the good work boys

    Reply to this comment
    • Chris

      Oct 23. 2019

      “Doctor-it”? Haha where did you get your nursing degree? That school needs to rethink their degree plan and add basic English.

      Reply to this comment
    • Doctor - It

      Oct 23. 2019

      Chris,
      Perhaps Nurse Ratch- it is referring to a new Marvel comics character – “Doctor-It”?
      I think he’s the brother of Doctor Strange.
      Scary stuff.

      Reply to this comment
  4. John

    Oct 23. 2019

    We are always too danged soft on crime. Want to make it easier for the criminals so as not to step on their precious rights. As far as I’m concerned, their rights end when they impinge upon ours. Slap ’em in jail with NO bonds and leave ’em there to rot.

    Reply to this comment
  5. lawman

    Oct 23. 2019

    Chris-I think it was spelled that way in a sarcasm attempt-but, maybe not

    Reply to this comment
  6. Concerned

    Oct 25. 2019

    So a traffic violation allows officers to risk public safety on city and county streets. Hmm 15 officers chasing someone down Virginia and Scott streets violating all know traffic laws just to catch someone whom they could file a warrant for. Doesn’t seem like a very good use of tax dollars nor does it seem like the risk of safety is warranted. To whom the supervisor was. Maybe it’s time to rethink your persuit policy that’s in your SOP… sounds like you forgot the basic part of your job. “Protect”

    Reply to this comment
  7. Sir Rob't Peele

    Oct 25. 2019

    “Concerned”… while I”m sure the police appreciate your concern as well as your opinion, which is no doubt based on years and years of watching television cops shows, probably dating back to The Mod Squad, you obviously weren’t the victim of a crime that one of the fleeing felons was already wanted on warrant for.

    Part of a policeman’s job is to “protect” the public from felons such as these two. It can’t be an easy decision for the police and they are at a much higher risk of injury or death during a police chase, too.

    I’ll choose to be thankful no one was hurt, the bad guys were arrested and grateful for the police doing their duty.

    Reply to this comment

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