Around 2 a.m., Clay County Sheriff's Deputy Josh Clarke attempted to pull over a dark-colored BMW with a bad tail light traveling westbound on S.R. 42. When the driver of the vehicle slowed to a stop, Clarke also stopped, but the vehicle suddenly turned north on C.R. 300 W. and sped away.
After a short pursuit, the suspect stopped again and Clarke approached the suspect's vehicle on foot after parking behind the car. Unexpectedly the driver put the vehicle in reverse and rammed Clarke's patrol car before driving off again.
Deputy Clarke was not hurt during the incident, but the front-end of his patrol car was damaged.
Clarke continued the pursuit in the patrol car as the suspect led him through Staunton and around rural Clay County before entering Vigo County.
Four more times during the pursuit, the suspect stopped, put the car in reverse and attempted to ram into Clarke, hitting the patrol car.
Each time Deputy Clarke was able to continue, although his vehicle became more damaged each time it was hit. Soon, other members of the Clay County Sheriff's Department, Indiana State Police and the Vigo County Sheriff's Department were able to provide assistance.
Officials wondered if the suspect was Desmund Turner, wanted in connection with the murders of seven people in Indianapolis late Thursday evening.
"At the time, Turner had not been captured yet and the license plate had an Indianapolis prefix," Sheriff Mike Heaton said. "There was a great concern it was Turner because of his aggressive driving. It turned out to be unrelated, but there's still a lot of questions about why he would ram a police vehicle several times."
The suspect, Marty W. Deberry, 34, of Indianapolis, was taken into custody after he losing control of his vehicle in the area of S.R. 42 and Moyer Road in Vigo County and crashed.
Officers found a glass pipe, methamphetamine, scales, stereo equipment from various vehicles and burglary tools, including a master kit for unlocking cars.
Deberry was arrested on preliminary charges of resisting law enforcement, possession of paraphernalia, criminal recklessness, possession of methamphetamine and battery on a law enforcement officer.
If convicted, Deberry could face a maximum sentence of 11 years imprisonment with a $40,000 fine.
Clarke's patrol car is considered too severely damaged for use and will remain parked until a determination can be made if repairs are possible, according to Sheriff Heaton.