FORT WAYNE – For eight miles, squad cars with their lights and sirens blazing followed Dr. Charles J. Whalen on Interstate 69, but the Fort Wayne oncologist just kept speeding and swerving, according to court records.
Once Whalen’s Chevrolet Equinox was finally stopped and he was wrestled into handcuffs, authorities determined through a blood test that the doctor had marijuana, methamphetamine and amphetamine in his system, court records said.
Whalen, 46, of the 1800 block of Glenlivet Court, faces a felony charge of resisting law enforcement and three misdemeanors: operating a vehicle while intoxicated, operating a vehicle with a controlled substance or its metabolite in his body and resisting law enforcement.
Whalen is one of several doctors at Fort Wayne Medical Oncology and Hematology, a cancer clinic with locations on West Jefferson Boulevard and Parkview Plaza Drive. The clinic’s chief operating officer, Dan Konow, said Friday that Whalen is still employed there but would not say if he is seeing patients.
The pursuit that led to Whalen’s arrest started about 1 p.m. Jan. 7.
Emergency dispatchers received reports that a southbound Chevrolet Equinox was going more than 90 mph and swerving all over I-69 in Washington Township, according to an Allen County Sheriff’s Department report.
A county police officer tried to pull over the SUV, but it continued south, court records stated. During the chase, the Equinox reached speeds of 75 to 80 mph and, at one point, violently sideswiped a concrete median, court records said.
At two spots in the road, officers put down stop sticks in front of the sport utility vehicle. It swerved to avoid the sticks, but its tires were still deflated.
The SUV slowed significantly and stopped on the interstate under the Yohne Road overpass.
When Whalen did not comply with officers’ commands to get out of his vehicle, they pulled him from the driver’s seat and placed him on the road, according to court records and the sheriff’s department report.
Whalen resisted by rolling around on the road and keeping his arms from being handcuffed, according to the report. What are you guys doing? I’m a physician, he reportedly told the officers.
Once handcuffed, Whalen argued with officers and repeated several times that he was a physician. He was extremely incoherent and confused as to where he was at and how he had arrived there, the report said.
Whalen told officers he was coming home from his lake cottage where he had used Rust Out on his toilets and thought that could be the reason for his actions, the report said.
He said he had not used any illegal drugs and that he only takes ibuprofen for back pain, according to the report.
Whalen was charged Thursday in Allen Superior Court, and he posted $4,000 in bail the same day. His initial hearing is set for Tuesday.
He joined Fort Wayne Medical Oncology and Hematology in 2000 after finishing fellowships in hematology and oncology at the University of Pennsylvania, according to the clinic’s website.
A message left at Whalen’s home was not returned Friday.
A message left at the office of his attorney, Travis Friend, was not immediately returned Friday evening.