What happens when you clock a car doing 114 miles per hour?
What if the vehicle in question is running lights and sirens? What if it has plates that reveal the vehicle is not from your jurisdiction?
And just what do you do if the plates reveal that the vehicle isn’t even from the same state?
That is what happened to Indiana State Police troopers last month, when they were involved in a high-speed chase with Detective Edward Wodnicki last month.
Citing CBS Chicago, who released the dashboard camera and audio conversation, the video shows the squad car pulled up in front of Wodnicki’s, it does not show the high-ranking CPD commander. He can be heard on the tape.
Breaking Tonight: CPD’s head of Detectives, who helmed the Jussie Smollett investigation, has been transferred out. In part due to a recent traffic incident in Indiana where he was clocked going 114 mph & stop strips were deployed. @cbschicago pic.twitter.com/6WzIpgvIAN
— Brad Edwards (@tvbrad) July 12, 2019
Wodnicki was allegedly traveling with his blue emergency lights on at speeds of 114 mph last month, leading troopers on a high-speed chase as he refused to stop.
Pursuing officers told dispatch, “White male driver and he is not stopping. He is on his cell phone. I don’t know why he would be running blue lights in Indiana. We are going to go ahead and probably spike strip him right here. He is not stopping right here.”
He finally pulled over near Chesterton, Indiana. The following is an excerpt from that in-car camera.
High ranking CPD Det. Commander Ed Wodnicki reassigned and is the target of an internal investigation after leading Indiana State Police on a chase
“I got a pace on of 114MPH.”
“He is not stopping.”
“Be prepared to set-up spike strips.”https://t.co/QaQlmqwxqp
— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) July 12, 2019
ISP: “Put your hands where I can see them! Right now. Get out of the car. This is not an emergency vehicle.”
Wodnicki: “Oh please, come on guys. I’m a (expletive) policeman. I swear to God I thought you were giving me support.”
ISP: “A policeman where?”
ISP: “Is this Chicago?”
At this point, one of the troopers is heard asking for a supervisor to arrive on scene.
Wodnicki: “Sir, I am heading to a call.”
Wodnicki claimed that he thought the troopers were there to escort him back to the city. The veteran officer said he was on his way back to his office to interview suspects already in custody.
ISP: “In custody they are not in any danger. They don’t have to talk until you get there.”
ISP: “Well, your bosses just told us you didn’t have anything exigent to get to, so there is no reason you should have been driving that way.”
So, what was his excuse for being 40 miles from home in a different state?
Wodnicki: “I’ve been working all day. I’m a (expletive) policeman. I don’t drink at all. I just had a (expletive) meeting.”
That is, however, not the same story he told CPD command staff. He told them he had been across the state line buying
ISP: “You are in custody. Anything you say, as you know, can be used against you, and I’ve been recording this whole time.”
Wodnicki was issued a ticket for going 80 miles per hour, even though he had been clocked going 34 miles per hour faster than the ticketed speed. After receiving the citation, he was released.
At the conclusion of this stop, the commander did show remorse.
Wodnicki: “You guys did the right thing. Please accept my apology.”
The local CBS affiliate asked the Indiana State Police why the speed was reduced on the ticket. The troopers referred them to the Porter County Prosecutor. The calls have gone unanswered.
Wodnicki, the Detective Commander, was the lead investigator on the Jussie Smollett “hate crime” investigation. He has been reassigned to strictly an administrative role, pending the internal investigation.
The CPD version of Wodnicki’s story does not match what he told the ISP on scene. They say that Wodnicki did claim that he was in Indiana buying ammunition, but that he was returning to respond to a critical call in Chicago.
Does this story hold water? Assuming he is telling the truth, was Detective Wodnicki correct to assume that Indiana State Troopers were following him to escort his unmarked car with Illinois plates all the way back to Chicago as he claimed.
Understanding professional courtesy, were the state troopers correct in ticketing him for 34 miles less than he was doing?
Should there be disciplinary action against the veteran detective from Chicago?