Sheriff's officer charged with OWI, hit-and-run at air show

- A Lake County Sheriff’s deputy was charged with drunken driving and leaving the scene of a crash after his police car struck a southwest suburban man who was attending the Gary Air Show on Sunday, according to police.

Lt. Guy Mikulich, a 16-year veteran of the department, struck a 34-year-old Frankfort man with his unmarked 2011 Crown Victoria police car, then left the scene of the crash, according to Indiana State Police. Mikulich had worked the air show, but had been released from his assigned patrol area.

At 4:48 p.m., the 37-year-old Mikulich was driving west on Oak Avenue near Pike Street in Gary when his vehicle struck a man who was standing behind his 2014 Toyota Sienna minivan to place something inside, police said.

The Frankfort resident attended the show with his family and was legally parked on Oak Avenue, police said. He suffered serious injuries in the crash and was taken to Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus in Gary.

Mikulich drove away from the crash and was later stopped by a Gary police officer in the 5900 block of Hemlock Avenue, police said. Damage to his police car was consistent with damages from the crash.

Mikulich, who was in uniform at the time of the crash, was also taken to Methodist Hospitals Northlake, where he was found to have a blood alcohol content of 0.15 percent, police said.

Mikulich was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated and causing bodily injury, and leaving the scene of a crash involving an injured person, both felonies, according to police.

He has been placed on paid administrative leave pending Lake County Sheriff’s Department Merit Board action seeking his termination of employment, according to the sheriff’s office.

Lake County Sheriff John Buncich said in a statement that he finds Mikulich’s behavior “intolerable.”

“His actions are in no way representative of the fine men and women of the Lake County sheriff’s department,” according to the statement.

Mikulich posted a $1,000 bond Monday morning was released, according to the sheriff’s office.

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