Niles City Police find van driver unconscious, unresponsive; forced to break window to help

Published 5:15 am Wednesday, February 11, 2004

By Staff
NILES -- On Feb. 6 at about 10:20 a.m., Niles City Police responded to the call of a subject slumped over the steering wheel of a vehicle at 13th and Cherry streets.
Upon arrival, the officers noticed a silver van at a stop sign facing southbound. The citizen who called the police was waiting at the scene.
The officers noticed the man was slumped over to the right with his seatbelt preventing him from falling between the seats.
The engine was running and they observed the car was still in drive with the subject's foot on the brake.
The van's doors were all locked and the windows were rolled up.
The officers knocked on the windows and tried yelling at the driver in an unsuccessful attempt to get his attention.
Due to the driver's unconscious condition and the fact that the vehicle could start moving at any time, the officers decided to use an expandable baton to break the passenger side window.
The officer immediately put the vehicle in park and turned off the ignition.
The driver, later identified as Tommy Martin, 35, of 26507 Main St., Edwardsburg, was still breathing, but remained unresponsive to attempts to revive him.
SMCAS arrived at the scene and took Martin to Lakeland Hospital.
According to the police report, the officers allegedly noticed a syringe on the passenger seat and a spoon with white residue on the floorboard near Martin's feet. They also allegedly noticed a glass pipe with black residue on the driver's seat, which was thought to be used for crack/cocaine.
While conducting a complete search of the vehicle, the officers also allegely found some prescription bottles in the back seat.
According to the police report, the Oxycontin package was ripped open and the bottle was exposed.
After being treated and released at Lakeland Hospital, Martin was placed under arrest for driving under the influence of drugs.
Martin was transported and lodged at the Niles Police Department with a $200 bond and an eight hour hold for sobriety.
The victim said he went to work around 8 a.m. and when he returned at 2:30 p.m., he found that his house had been broken into.
A plexiglass window on the side of the house that led to the basement had been broken out.
The suspect proceeded to go upstairs and kick open the bedroom door, which had been deadbolted.
The victim noticed that two CO2 pellet/BB pistols and some pocket change were missing from the house.
The victim said he allowed the suspect to stay at his house because he needed a place to stay.
He had met the suspect a few days earlier and did not know him very well.
The victim woke up around 7 a.m. on Feb. 3 to go to school. He left the suspect sleeping at his house.
When he returned from school, the suspect was gone along with his TV, VCR, stereo and wallet.
Police have had not yet been able to locate the suspect for questioning.

  • On Feb. 2, Niles City Police received a report of a cell phone larceny.
    The victim was inside 7 Days Party Place when a subject approached him and offered $2 to make a local call on his cell phone. The victim agreed and handed his phone to the subject. He continued shopping and then realized that the subject was gone with his phone.