Wanted man arrested in Rolling Prairie

Gregory Hallstrom

ROLLING PRAIRIE – A man wanted by federal authorities faces new charges after leading La Porte County Sheriff's deputies on a foot chase for several miles in snowy conditions on Friday.

Gregory A. Hallstrom, 30, of Joplin, Missouri, is being held in the La Porte County Jail on charges of felony charges of battery to a public safety officer and unlawful possession of a syringe, according to the sheriff's department.

Just after midnight Friday, deputies were called to a crash in the 0-100 block of East Walker in Rolling Prairie, where the other occupants of the car, who may have been armed, had run from the crash, according to a police report. Hallstrom was dressed only in a torn jacket, blue jeans and sneakers, though temperatures were below zero and it was snowing heavily, a police report said.

Police also discovered that he was wanted on active felony arrest warrants through the U.S. Marshal Service.

Deputies searching the area found a single pair of footprints behind a home in the 5300 North block of CR-425E and two deputies started to follow.

They "followed the footprints in the snow for several miles through heavily wooded areas and even across a frozen pond," the report said.

The tracks led to the 3000 East block of CR-600N, then turned south down CR-350E, where the prints in the snow went "up to several different residences and around vehicles," then south on CR-350E across U.S. 20, according to police.

The footprints then led down a long driveway and behind a home in the 4400 block of CR-350E, where the suspect was found "hiding behind a wooden deck next to an above ground pool," the report said.

After several commands, the suspect raised his arms and was cuffed, police said. No firearm was found.

Police said his jacket was "torn in several places, allowing snow too fall into the inside," and he was "violently shaking and complained of being dangerously cold."

He was placed in a warm squad car and taken to La Porte Hospital for treatment in case he had reached a "hypothermic state," police said.

At the hospital, he was "extremely disorderly towards the nursing staff, and refused to provide a urine sample," the report said. When hospital staff attempted to insert a catheter he "became even more belligerent," the report said.

He told the staff and officers, "I'll fight all of you if you cath me!" and "I may not win the fight, but you will definitely have marks," the report said.

He then kicked at an a deputy's head, striking him in the shoulder, according to police. The deputy suffered only "slight discomfort." Hallstrom then apologized and said he didn't want new charges, explaining that he was "just showing how high he could kick and didn't mean to make contact," the report said.

When he was finally cleared by the medical staff a couple hours later, he was taken to the La Porte County Jail for processing, and during a search, a hypodermic syringe was found inside his coat, the report said.

The needle was broken off the syringe, but the syringe contained a brown liquid consistent with heroin, the report said. He first denied knowing about the syringe, then said it may have still been in the jacket from several years ago when he used heroin.

Hallstrom was charged with battery to a public service officer and illegal possession of the syringe, both felonies, police said.

He is being held in the jail without bond on the U.S. Marshals' warrant, which charged "violation of the conditions of probation and/or supervised release"; and he is scheduled to appear in La Porte Circuit Court on Wednesday on the new charges.

Hallstrom was also arrested in La Porte following a police chase in October 2010 and charged with armed robbery, possession of heroin and resisting arrest; however, those charges were later dismissed.

—From staff reports

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