Auburn police: Pursuit leads to arrest of man with drugs

Auburn police say they arrested Joe Smithson following a pursuit where they found hypodermic...
Auburn police say they arrested Joe Smithson following a pursuit where they found hypodermic needles and fentanyl.(Auburn Police Department)
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 11:41 AM EDT
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AUBURN, Ind. (WPTA) - A pursuit Thursday afternoon led to the arrest of a homeless man police say had hypodermic needles loaded with fentanyl, Auburn police say.

Police say officers were called around 1:30 p.m. to the 500 block of Touring Drive for a medical emergency of a man slumped over the wheel of a pickup truck. Officers found the man was under the influence of a narcotic drug, a statement said.

When officers asked the man, 56-year-old Joe Smithson, for information, they say he put the truck into gear and took off.

Police say Smithson drove down to Auburn Drive and turned into Metal Technologies where he drove through the grass, damaging the property, came back onto Diehl Road, and headed south. Smithson eventually turned west on a dead-end road at County Road 50 where his truck became disabled in tall weeds. Smithson was taken into custody without any injuries.

When police searched Smithson’s truck, they found hypodermic needles that field tested positive for fentanyl, the statement said. Police say officers went back over the route of the pursuit and found other hypodermic needles they believe were tossed from the truck.

Smithson told officers he fled because he had an active warrant for his arrest out of Allen County for possession of cocaine. Police say Smithson was charged with resisting, two counts of possession, driving while suspended and reckless driving.

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