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Police, court and fire briefs

Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 11:17 am

Wreck in Noble County kills Whitley man

A Whitley County man died in a Wednesday evening crash in Noble County that sent three other people to a hospital with injuries, Indiana State Police said.

Authorities have not released the identity of anyone involved in the wreck, but Trooper Justin Snyder reported that at about 8:50 p.m. a car driving north on Indiana 205 north of Noble County Road 600S slid sideways and went left of center. It was struck broadside in the passenger side by an SUV.

The front passenger of the northbound car was pronounced dead at the scene by the Noble County Coroner's Office. The driver of the car along with both the driver and passenger of the SUV were taken to a Fort Wayne hospital for medical treatment. State Police did not know their conditions as of late Wednesday. All identities are being withheld at this time until those notifications have been made.

Also assisting at the scene were the Noble County Sheriff Department, LaOtto Fire Department, Churubusco Fire Department, Huntertown Fire Department, Noble County EMS, Whitley County EMS, Huntertown EMS and the Noble County Coroner's Office.

3-year-old Fort Wayne girl survives shooting

A three-year-old girl in Fort Wayne survived being shot, apparently accidentally, late Tuesday.

Shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday, Fort Wayne police were dispatched to the 2900 block of Hanna Street. There they found the preschooler with a gunshot wound in her thigh. They determined that the shooting apparently happened while the girl was in an alley near her home. The wound did not appear life-threatening, and police said she was in stable condition.

Witness accounts of who was with the child when she was shot varied, but police questioned a man inside the home after they obtained consent to search the home. During the search, police said, they found a BB gun and a .380-caliber semi-automatic. The man told police he could not understand how the gun had fired when nobody had it in hand. Police noted that the man seemed more distraught than anyone else in the home.

Police confiscated the .380 and interviewed the man at length but did not arrest him.

2 people escape but dog dies in fire

An adult and a child made it out of a house fire unhurt late Wednesday afternoon, but a dog died in the home, Fort Wayne firefighters reported Wednesday.

Firefighters were called to a fire in the 4300 block of Anthony Wayne Drive at 4:11 p.m. They arrived at 4:15 p.m. and found flames coming from the doors and windows of the first floor. Because they had been told someone was trapped inside, one crew went inside to search the home for occupants while another began fighting the fire.

They later realized that the occupants had escaped before they arrived. They brought the fire under control by 4:45, but fire, water and smoke damage to the structure were heavy. An investigation at the scene revealed that the fire was began in a pan of grease left on a stove.

Officer offers suspected thief a clear choice

A Fort Wayne Police officer trying to clear up the theft of four iPhones -- that's $1,900 worth of phone, by his reckoning -- presented the suspected thief with a clear choice: Hand over those phones right now or wait on me to get search warrant and face charges.

The officer arrived at that moment of opportunity about 10 p.m. Sunday, after he was dispatched to help a man who had called to report that his daughter and several of her friends had their cell phones stolen while they performed during the halftime of a Mad Ants game.

The man “pinged” the daughter's iPhone, and its location was reported as a house in the 1900 block of Webster Street. The officer drove to the home and introduced himself.

The man who answered the door said he hadn't been at the Coliseum during the Ants game. The police officer said he didn't believe the suspect. The officer reported that he told the man he could wait on him to get a search warrant, then go to jail facing several counts of theft when he found the cell phones, or he could go get the phones, hand them over and avoid charges.

The suspect stepped into a bedroom and retrieved four iPhones from the top drawer of his dresser, the officer reported.

The officer advised the father who called police that he could still press charges if he liked. NewsChannel 15, our partner in news, reported that the father was trying to press charges, but as of Wednesday afternoon, the alleged thief had not been arrested nor had charges against him been filed.

Firefighter hurt fighting fire in garage

A Fort Wayne firefighter hurt his knee late Wednesday fighting a fire in a garage and was taken to Lutheran Hospital, Fort Wayne firefighters reported. Wednesday night, whether he would be admitted or treated and released was unknown.

The fire department was called to the fire at 10:35 p.m. and arrived three minutes later, finding the garage in the 2000 block of Ellen Avenue to be fully engulfed in flames. No one was in the garage, and firefighters brought the fire under control in 15 minutes.

The cause has not been determined yet, and the fire brought heavy fire, smoke and water damage to the home.

Utility warns customers about email scam

Indiana Michigan Power warns its customers to be wary of an email phishing campaign that has affected at least six utility companies, including I&M's corporate parent, AEP.

The scam sends emails that appear to originate from a utility company. When recipients click on a link in the email, it can make their computer vulnerable to information and identity theft.

I&M said the email phishing scam has affected companies' employees and in some cases their customers, including at least one I&M customer. The utility warned customers to be aware of this scam and to be cautious about any unusual or suspicious emails that purport to be sent from AEP.

Troopers arrest man on gun charges

A Fort Wayne man was arrested late Tuesday night on gun charges after Indiana State Police troopers investigated a report of shots being fired in the vicinity of Eden Green Apartments.

Trooper John Grant reported that at about 11:10 p.m., he and Trooper Caleb Anderson were at the corner of Greene and Oliver streets when they overheard radio traffic from Fort Wayne Police indicating that shots had been fired in the Eden Green Apartment complex.

After the radio call, they saw a 2000 Chevrolet Impala leave the complex at high speed and drive by the intersection where they were parked. They said they saw the vehicle committed multiple traffic violations, including disregarding a stop sign. The troopers and Fort Wayne Police stopped the car on Wallace Street east of Hanna Street.

Four people were in the car -- a female driver and three male passengers. State Police report that a loaded .22-caliber Beretta semi-automatic pistol and a bag with numerous loose .22 caliber ammunition were located on the person of Michael William Bracey, 20, of Fort Wayne.

Further investigation also revealed that the pistol was reportedly stolen during an armed robbery at Lev's Pawn Shop on Jan. 10. Bracey was taken to the Allen County Jail on preliminary charges of possession of stolen property and possession of a handgun without a permit. The other three people in the car were released.