Peru, IN – A Peru woman who failed to stop for police, wrecked her car and then fled on foot was apprehended later when she called 911 and attempted to report that her vehicle had been stolen.
Twenty-eight-year-old Krystal Meeks is facing charges of Resisting Law Enforcement with a Vehicle, Resisting Law Enforcement on Foot, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, Neglect of Dependent X2, False informing and Operating While Intoxicated-Endangerment.
According to a PPD report, Officer Keith Smith was on patrol in the area of West Canal Street and South Benton Street at approximately 1:43 a.m. Sunday morning when he observed a Toyota sedan traveling below the posted speed limit. He further observed the car fail to stop for two stop signs and a traffic signal. When Officer Smith attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle, the Toyota failed to yield and continued traveling east on 3rd Street. Smith continued to follow the vehicle. He was able to use his spotlight to illuminate the interior of the vehicle where he noted only one occupant, a female with light blonde hair when the driver turned onto South Lincoln Street.
The vehicle continued to flee, increasing its speed, with the Smith’s Police vehicle following with lights and siren activated. The vehicle approached the curve where Canal Street turns north and becomes East Street. Smith believed that the vehicle had successfully negotiated the turn but after completed the curve himself he did not observe any vehicle tail lights. He turned off his emergency lights and continued to look for the suspect vehicle. Upon returning to the curve, he located skid marks in the roadway leading to the wooded area and creek east of East Street. He then noticed the guardrail was missing.
Officer Smith parked his police vehicle and ran into the woods where he observed the vehicle laying on its roof in the creek facing west with major damage. The driver was not located inside the vehicle but Smith did locate a half-gallon adult beverage container with an unknown quantity of clear liquid.
Other Police Officers Peru Fire Department and EMS arrived on scene to assist. The area was searched and the suspect could not be located. Officers set up a perimeter around the area and requested Sergeant Brindle and his K9 Darro be en-route for the search.
A check of the vehicle’s license plate revealed that the car was registered to Crystal Meeks and her ex-husband. Two ISP Troopers were now in the area to assist and Officer Smith requested they check the area leading to Meeks’ address. ISP Trooper Smith advised that he had made contact with the subject’s ex-husband at his address and he advised that Krystal had the vehicle and was also supposed to have their two children for the weekend. At this point, Officer Pelzel reported that Ms. Meeks was the offender in an unrelated leaving the scene/Operating While Intoxicated accident recently involving the same vehicle. You can read about that incident by clicking HERE.
It was also learned that Ms. Meeks driver’s license was suspended. Based on her physical description from her driving record, Officer Smith believed that Ms. Meeks was the driver of the vehicle.
While Sergeant Brindle and Darro were attempting to track the suspect, Dispatch advised that Ms. Meeks had called 911 to report her vehicle stolen.
Upon Officers Smith’s arrival at Krystal’s location, she came outside to talk with officers. She was observed to stagger and stumble while approaching officers. Smith also observed what appeared to be a fresh wound to Krystal’s forehead. Ms. Meeks was read her Miranda warning before speaking with officers.
Ms. Meeks reported she was sleeping when her ex-husband called her and told her that the police were looking for her. She then stated she noticed that her car had been stolen. She reported that a man inside the residence could confirm her version of the events. Ms. Meeks was then placed in the backseat of a police vehicle while Officers made contact with the man inside the home. The man was disabled but was able to utilize an app on his phone called “speech assistant” to communicate with officers. He reported that he and Krystal had sat at the table until 11:30 when he went to watch TV. He could not advise if she had left the house or not.
Officers returned to talk with Ms. Meeks who after telling varying stories, stated that she would “be honest now.” She told officers that she was driving the vehicle and did not want to be stopped by police. She stated she made several turns to try to avoid the officer. She did not remember running any stop signs or red lights and denied hearing or seeing police sirens. She denied any injury and did not want EMS called to check her out.
Ms. Meeks was given a preliminary breath test with a result of .08%. She was not asked to do the standardized field sobriety tests due to the accident and her head injury.
While checking on the condition of the two children in the home, Officers located a sweatshirt and pair of woman’s sandals lying on the floor in the dining room. The sweatshirt and sandals both had thick, sticky mud on them very similar to the mud surrounding all side of Krystal’s Toyota.
A short time later Ms. Meeks knocked on the window of the police car to get the attention of Officer Smith. She now requested medical attention and told officers that she did not remember any part of crashing her vehicle. When advised she had already told officers about the crash and her fleeing the scene, she said: “well I don’t know.”
Ms. Meeks’ ex-husband was notified to pick up the children as she did not feel the man inside the home as was capable of caring for the children. When asked why she left the children inside the home with the man earlier if he wasn’t able to take care of them she said she did not think much about it because the children “were asleep when she left the house.”
Ms. Meeks was then transported to Dukes Memorial Hospital for evaluation. She also provided a blood draw for an Indiana Department of Toxicology chemical test. After being evaluated and cleared by medical staff, she was transported to the Miami County Jail.
Krystal Meeks, 28 of Peru faces charges of Resisting Law Enforcement with a Vehicle, Resisting Law Enforcement on Foot, Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident, Neglect of a Dependent X2, Operating While Intoxicated with Impairment Causing Endangerment, False Informing and Placing a 911 Call for Prohibited Purposes. She was also cited for Driving While Suspended, Disregarding a Red Light and Disregarding a Stop Sign X4.
The Department of Child Services was also notified about the children being left without care or supervision.
All criminal suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.