November 11, 2021

Man jailed after crashing through Indiana State Prison gate

Risto Viita/

Risto Viita/

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (AP) — A motorist who crashed through the Indiana State Prison’s main gate has been charged with drunken driving and criminal trespass, state police said.

Robert D. Merriman, 62, of Winamac was arrested Tuesday after police said he drove a pickup truck through the gate at the prison, located in Michigan City. Authorities eventually stopped the vehicle and state troopers were called to the scene, police said.

Tuesday's crash did not result in any property damage at the prison, said Annie Goeller, a spokeswoman for the Indiana Department of Correction.

Police said that after the crash, Merriman was found to have a blood-alcohol content of .14%, or nearly twice the state's limit of .08% for drivers. He faces charges that include criminal trespass, operating a vehicle while intoxicated and operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering others.

Online court records do not list an attorney who could speak on behalf of Merriman, who remained jailed Thursday at the LaPorte County Jail.

State police said Merriman's pickup crashed through the prison's main gate a short time after police were alerted about a potentially impaired driver traveling in a pickup on U.S. 421 in Michigan City, located about 40 miles (64..4 kilometers) west of South Bend.

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