A Lake County Sheriff's Department lieutenant faces felony charges after an allegedly hitting a man and then taking off while driving under the influence in his squad car.
Lt. Guy Mikulich, 37, has been charged with operating while intoxicated causing bodily injury and leaving the scene of a personal injury crash.
Indiana State Police say Mikulich's blood alcohol was .15 – nearly twice the legal limit – when he hit Derrick Dircks and his minivan Sunday afternoon while in uniform.
The crash occurred around 4:45 p.m. when the 16-year veteran had just been released from his assigned area where he had working the Gary Air Show, police said.
Dircks, a 34-year-old man from Frankfort, Illinois, had been watching the show with his family when he went to put something back in the family's minivan that was legally parked at Oak Avenue near Pike Street, police said.
While Dircks was outside his minivan, he was struck by Mikulich’s police cruiser, an unmarked 2011 Crown Victoria, according to authorities.
Mikulich allegedly took off after the crash, but was eventually stopped by a Gary police officer about a mile and a half down the road.
Police found the damage on Mikulich’s vehicle to be consistent with the damage to the Dircks and his Toyota minivan.
Mikulich was taken into custody, and Dircks was transported to Methodist Hospital Northlake in serious condition.
Per the standard policy of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Mikulich has been stripped of his police powers and placed on paid administrative leave.
The incident is the first time the lieutenant has found himself in trouble with the department.
Mikulich was previously placed on administrative leave in January after getting into a scuffle on News Year’s Eve at the Radisson Hotel while also in uniform, the Northwest Indiana Times reports.
Records also show that in 2009 the county settled a brutality claim against the officer for $130,000, according to the Northwest Indiana Times.
It is unclear if Mikulich has an attorney. He is expected to face a judge Monday.
A request for comment to the Lake County sheriff was not immediately returned.