Two Charged After Running Over Southport Officer
INDIANAPOLIS -- (RTV6) A woman’s amateur sting operation to catch two cellphone thieves was behind the suspects that struck an off-duty Southport police officer while fleeing Methodist Hospital last week.
The woman told police she had arranged through the LetGo app to sell her cellphone to someone on Aug. 5. Instead of making the sale, though, she said two suspects showed up and simply took her phone.
The woman said she then made a second ad, and got a response, she believed, from the same people. She arranged to meet them at the parking lot at Methodist Hospital on the morning of Aug. 9.
Before the suspects arrived, the woman handed photos of them to the security booth guard and warned hospital security that suspects who had robbed her might be arriving soon.
A short time later, around 10:45 a.m., a red, 1999 four-door Oldsmobile pulled into the parking lot. The woman alerted security that she believed the driver and passenger were the ones that had robbed her.
Four security guards, including off-duty Southport Police Officer Paul McGann, then approached the Oldsmobile and ordered the suspects out.
Instead, police say the vehicle accelerated forward, hitting McGann and causing injuries to his neck and both knees. None of his injuries were believed to be permanent or life-threatening.
McGann managed to fire one shot before being knocked down by the vehicle. That bullet hit the windshield and lodged in the frame of the car as it sped away.
While officers were still trying to process the scene, the woman received a message from the suspects, who said they were still interested in buying her phone. According to a probable cause affidavit filed in the case, the woman agreed to meet them near 46th Street and Arlington Avenue. She then alerted police where they would be.
Police located the suspects in an east side apartment complex and attempted to detain them, but both suspects fled on foot.
Following a chase, both were taken into custody by police. They were identified as 29-year-old Christopher Johnson and 33-year-old Brandon Hayworth.
According to the affidavit, Johnson told police in an interview that Hayworth was driving the car. When asked why he though Hayworth fled, Johnson said, “Maybe the car was stolen. Maybe a warrant.”
Hayworth reportedly told police both men had open warrants for their arrest. He said he had been driving Johnson to locations to steal cellphones from people they contacted through a fake profile on the LetGo app.
Johnson and Hayworth were both charged Monday with battery by means of a deadly weapon, battery resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer and multiple counts of resisting law enforcement.