Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 7 years, 10 months
Badge # 20172
Cause: Vehicular assault
Weapon: Automobile; Alcohol involved
Offender: Sentenced to 32½ years
Corporal James Szuba and his canine partner, Ricky, were killed when their squad car was struck while assisting with a pursuit.
At about 9:20 pm, Corporal Szuba was proceeding northbound on Byrkit Avenue as it turns into Fir Road when his squad car was sideswiped by a drunken driver being pursued by another officer. The suspect had swerved around a vehicle parked at the stoplight at McKinley Highway when he hit the oncoming squad car of Corporal Szuba and Ricky, who were both killed instantly.
The 31-year-old suspect, who had a blood-alcohol content nearly three times the legal limit, was on probation for an 18-month sentence for delivery and manufacturing of marijuana. He was later convicted and sentenced to 32½ years for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing death, resisting law enforcement and possession of controlled substances.
Corporal Szuba had served with the Mishawaka Police Department for over 7½ years. He was survived by his wife, son, daughter, mother, two brothers and two sisters. One brother currently serves as a sergeant and their father was a retired officer with the South Bend Police Department.
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