INDIANAPOLIS — For the fourth time in recent years, an Indianapolis man has been arrested and accused of ramming a police squad car to try and escape arrest.
The case, combined with the suspect’s criminal history, has Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers frustrated.
Driving a stolen truck with expired plates, IMPD claims 43-year-old George Leachman intentionally rammed a police car three times on Friday night.
According to police, an IMPD Southeast District officer attempted to stop the truck shortly before 7:00 p.m. near E. Naomi Street and Lawton Avenue on the city’s near southeast side.
After stopping briefly, police claim Leachman rammed the officer’s car multiple times before driving off. The officer was able to pursue Leachman despite damage to his car, IMPD said.
Police say the truck stopped near Cottage and Asbury and that Leachman was later taken into custody. A photo of Leachman, provided by IMPD, can be seen below.
Leachman was booked into jail Saturday for multiple felony charges. However, the suspect was quickly released Sunday morning.
Court officials confirmed Monday evening that Leachman was quickly released due to a clerical error. Leachman’s bond was supposed to be set at $45,000. The amount, however, was mistakenly entered as $4,500, which Leachman was able to pay.
“How in the world does this guy get right back out of jail?” said Indy FOP President Rick Snyder. “How in the world does the court system not catch this person was out of pre-trial release? It proves exactly what we’ve been saying for years. No one is reviewing these cases.”
Snyder is upset the suspect was released from jail just hours after his latest alleged crime because, over the last 6 years, Leachman has allegedly damaged at least 8 IMPD squad cars.
According to previous reports, Leachman was involved in another altercation with police on Feb. 25 that led to him ramming into at least three patrol cars with a Ford F250 while trying to flee from officers during a pursuit near Arlington Avenue and E. 19th Street.
Police had originally flagged Leachman down after confirming that the pickup truck he was operating at the time was reported as stolen out of Allen County.
Three IMPD officers were injured as a result of the pursuit and the subsequent damage to their vehicles. IMPD released bodycam footage of the incident.
The pursuit ultimately concluded when two officers fired multiple rounds at Leachman while he was still in the driver’s seat of the pickup truck.
He was charged with multiple felonies in the February incident, including battery resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer and resisting law enforcement.
Prior to that case, in 2017 Leachman was arrested and eventually convicted of damaging three police cars during a pursuit that injured two officers.
“Officers across the city are pissed off at what has gone on here,” Snyder said. “They know they have to risk their lives and there’s a justice system that thumbs its nose at the officers.”
According to the affidavit, Leachman claimed a third person caused the crash this weekend, but a passenger told police Leachman was in fact the driver.
IMPD Chief Randal Taylor called Leachman’s quick release this weekend “absolutely unacceptable,” writing:
“It is with great frustration and concern that I address the weekend release of Mr. Leachman on bond. Leachman has proven time and time again that he has no regard for the law, and should not have the ability to put our officers or the general public in any more danger. The fact that this individual has allegedly rammed multiple police cars, placing officers at risk of serious bodily harm or death, on separate incidents is absolutely unacceptable,” said Chief Randal Taylor. “Our officers work tirelessly to de-escalate dangerous situations and bring individuals like Leachman into custody unharmed and without injury to members of our community. In doing so our officers place themselves at great risk. Thankfully, no one was injured in this latest incident, but his release raises serious concerns for the safety of our officers and the community.” – Chief Randal Taylor
The suspect had been set to go to court later this month to plead guilty to charges stemming from the officer-involved shooting.
It’s not clear if the latest arrest will impact that plea agreement or not. Prosecutors were granted a motion to revoke the suspect’s bond in that case.
A spokesperson with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office provided the following timeline for Leachman’s release:
- Booking time: 11/4/23 10:42 am
- Court sets bond: 11/4/23 5:45 pm
- Surety Bond paid: 11/4/23 10:45 pm
- Released: 11/5/23 00:52 am
They added, “The Sheriff’s Office has no authority to detain an individual who does not have any additional charges and has made their bond.”