Monday night's pursuit came to an end when the suspect ran his Jeep down an embankment and into Coppes Ditch. Photo provided by Indiana State Police.
Monday night's pursuit came to an end when the suspect ran his Jeep down an embankment and into Coppes Ditch. Photo provided by Indiana State Police.
A Leesburg man led Indiana State Police troopers on a pursuit through a field before crashing into a water filled ditch on Monday night.

At approximately 10 p.m. Monday, trooper Matthew Drudge saw the driver of a gray 2017 Jeep commit a moving violation as it travelled north on Ind. 15 south of Leesburg, according to a news release from the Indiana State Police. Drudge activated the emergency lights on his marked ISP Dodge Charger and the Jeep pulled to the right and stopped near the intersection of Ind. 15 and Levi Lee Road.

As Drudge approached the Jeep on the passenger side, he noticed the driver still had his foot on the brakes due to the brake lights being on. As Drudge began to speak to the driver, later identified as Austin Zarse, 27, of 576 W. CR 675N, Leesburg, another trooper stopped to see if Drudge needed assistance.  As the assisting trooper began to walk towards the Jeep, Zarse sped off northbound on Ind. 15.

Zarse led troopers and assisting agencies on a pursuit that continued northbound through Leesburg, the news release stated. As Zarse approached CR 900N, he took the pursuit off the roadway and began to drive westbound through a field.  Drudge followed Zarse through the field as he travelled northwest.

Zarse continued to flee until his Jeep ran down an embankment and into Coppes Ditch. The Jeep became disabled and came to a stop in approximately 3 feet of water.  Zarse exited the Jeep and was taken into custody but not before he began dumping bags of an unknown substance into the water, the release states.

Zarse was medically cleared for crashing into the ditch and for being in the cold water. He was then arrested and transported to the Kosciusko County Jail at 11:51 p.m. Monday on charges of resisting law enforcement, obstruction of justice and reckless driving. His bond was preliminary set at $5,250.

The Indiana State Police was assisted by the Kosciusko County Sheriff's Office, Net 43, Milford Police Department and Crouse Towing.