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Elburn man charged after police chase that started in Indiana

Published: Friday, April 20, 2012 5:10 p.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, April 21, 2012 7:58 a.m. CDT
(Photo courtesey of Brad Hruza)
Elburn resident David Ziesel is taken into custody by police on Friday afternoon.

ELBURN – An Elburn man is in custody in northwest Indiana after leading police on a long chase that began following a bank robbery in Indiana.

David Ziesel, 32, of the 1100 block of Wise Street, Elburn, was taken into custody about 3:30 p.m. Friday by Kane County sheriff’s deputies when the pursuit ended just west of Ziesel’s own backyard.

The chase began shortly after the LaPorte Savings Bank on Johnson Road in LaPorte, Ind., was robbed just after 2 p.m. Friday. Police said Ziesel then fled in a 1999 Chevrolet Suburban.

Robert Ramsey, an agent with the Indianapolis office of the FBI, said that the pursuit began shortly after police received a 911 call from the bank.

Police received a vehicle description and a description of the subject, and Ramsey said the vehicle was spotted on Interstate 94. Ramsey said a traffic stop was attempted, but “the subject refused to stop and initiated the pursuit.”

Ramsey said Ziesel had been armed with a black handgun, but that the gun was thrown out the window during the pursuit. Ramsey said the handgun later was recovered.

Ramsey added that Ziesel also threw currency and clothing out of the window during the pursuit.

Ramsey said police from multiple agencies in Indiana and Illinois were in pursuit. Ziesel eventually exited Interstate 88 at Route 31 in North Aurora, where police lost sight of the vehicle, said Lt. Pat Gengler, spokesman for the Kane County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies renewed the pursuit on Main Street near Deerpath Road in Batavia Township, but Ziesel is alleged to have continued fleeing at high speeds along Main Street. Ziesel eventually drove west up Hughes Road toward Route 47, and pulled off onto Oakwood Drive, a dead-end off Hughes Road, just east of Route 47.

Gengler said Ziesel drove into a yard, and fled on foot through several backyards before sheriff’s deputies and officers with the Elburn Police Department and the Kane County Forest Preserve District caught up with him in the garage of his home on Wise Street.

Gengler said the police pursuit was aided by a police helicopter, which had monitored Ziesel’s movements from above throughout much of the chase.

Ziesel has been charged in Kane County with aggravated fleeing and attempting to elude police officers, as well as resisting arrest.

He has been turned over to the custody of the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office. Capt. John Boyd said Friday night that Ziesel had not yet been charged, but he expected that Ziesel would face charges of resisting law enforcement, leaving the scene of a property damage crash and reckless driving charges. He said that the most serious charges are likely to come from the FBI.

Ziesel ended up at his home in Elburn, which is only a few houses down from where Elburn resident Brad Hruza’s mother lives. Hruza took several photos of the police apprehending Ziesel. Hruza said Ziesel was a quiet neighbor.

“Nobody ever really saw him,” said Hruza, who added he thought Ziesel had lived in the neighborhood only a short time. “He is quiet.”

Gengler said Ziesel asked police officers whether he could “say goodbye” to his wife, who Gengler said was home when of Ziesel was apprehended.

Gengler said deputies refused to grant his request.

“He was told he had put too many people’s lives on the line today to grant him a courtesy like that,” Gengler said. “We were very, very lucky today that no one got hurt.”

Boyd said that although Ziesel did hit the car of an off-duty police officer, there were no injuries during the entire episode.

“It’s a miracle he didn’t hit any [other] cars,” Boyd said. “There were no reports of crashes that occurred.”

Ramsey said that Ziesel was to appear Monday in U.S. District Court in South Bend, Ind.

• Kane County Chronicle news editor Al Lagattolla contributed to this report.

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