Lake County Criminal Defense Attorney Scott King’s client will not face charges
CROWN POINT — Lake County Prosecutor Bernard A. Carter said his office will not be pressing charges against a Gary police officer who shot an individual in October, saying Thursday the shooting was justified.
“The officer did everything necessary to protect himself as well as the individual who was in the car by removing the gun, awaking him, ordering him to get out of the vehicle,” Carter said.
Gary police officer Arthur Lemme is alleged to have shot Antoine D. Williams on Oct. 14 in the area of West 15th Avenue and Colfax Street in Gary, according to court records.
Lemme told detectives with the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, which investigated the shooting, he found Williams asleep in his vehicle with a gun in his lap at about midnight, records state.
The officer said he awoke Williams and removed the gun from the vehicle, records state.
He said he ordered Williams to get out of the vehicle, but Williams instead grabbed for the gear shift and tried to drive away, according to records.
Lemme said he felt himself being pulled as the car moved forward, so he shot Williams in the chest, which allowed him to remove his arm, records state.
Carter said the officer had a “right to protect himself.”
“People have to understand that when an officer orders you to get of out the car, people need to comply,” Carter said. “His failure to comply with the officer’s request put his life (and the officer’s life) in jeopardy.”
Williams drove the vehicle about three-quarters of a mile before he crashed into a light pole, according to records.
Williams was transported to Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus and treated for the gunshot wound, the records state.
A blood test at the hospital indicated Williams had a 0.22 blood-alcohol content, records state. A person is considered intoxicated with a BAC of 0.08.
Sheriff’s spokesman Mark Back said Wednesday detectives completed their investigation into the shooting in early December.
Carter said his office received the findings earlier this week and prosecutors conducted a thorough review of the case.
Gary police Lt. Dawn Westerfield said Wednesday that Lemme, a 10-year veteran of the department, remained on active duty.
Williams was charged Monday in Lake Criminal Court with two counts of felony battery, two counts of felony resisting law enforcement, two counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and carrying a handgun without a license.
Lauren Cross email@example.com, 219-933-3206