Disabled vehicle call turns violent against trooper

After a struggle that involved a Taser, Trooper Potesta was able to successfully arrest Michael P. Bartow.

Posted: May 19, 2019 11:40 PM

GARY, Ind. (WLFI) - A man is behind bars after getting physically violent with an Indiana State Trooper who was assisting him.

It happened around 6:10 a.m. on Sunday near the eight-mile marker on eastbound I-80/90 in Lake County. Senior Trooper Anthony Potesta was dispatched to a disabled car. When he arrived on scene, he said he found 29-year-old Michael P. Bartow from Algonquin, Illinois. 

Trooper Potesta said Bartow told him that his car had run out of gas as he driving home to Algonquin. During this conversation, Trooper Potesta said he smelt alcohol on Bartow's breath. He said he asked Bartow to get out of his car to complete a field sobriety test. 

Once at the rear of the car, Trooper Potesta attempted to administer the tests; however Bartow refused and attempted to walk back to his vehicle. That's when he said he attempted to detain Bartow, but he resisted. Trooper Potesta said a struggle began as he attempted to deploy his department issued Taser.

He said Bartow reached for the Taser and a struggle for the weapon took place. He said the Taser fell to the ground, which Bartow picked up the weapon and attempted to deploy the Taser against Trooper Potesta. For an unknown reason, the Taser failed to fire.

Trooper Potesta said he again attempted to take Bartow into custody and the struggle continued to the ground.

While this confrontation was taking place, several “Good Samaritans" stopped to assist. One of these people was an off-duty Illinois Sheriff’s Deputy. One of the "Good Samaritans" was able to deploy a chemical agent against Bartow. They said this tactic was successful, as they were able to get Bartow into handcuffs soon after.

Both Trooper Potesta and Bartow were transported to Northlake Hospital in Gary for treatment and both have been released. Toxicology results are pending. Bartow was incarcerated at the Lake County Jail in Crown Point.

Pending approval by the Lake County Prosecutor, Bartow is facing the following charges:

Disarming an Officer I.C. 35-44.1-3-2 (Level 3 Felony)
Battery to Law Enforcement I.C. 35-42-2-1(g)(5) (Level 5 Felony)
Resisting Law Enforcement I.C. 35-44.1-3-1 (Level 6 Felony)
Operating While Intoxicated I.C. 9-30-5-1 (Class A Misd.)

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