The Crusader Newspaper Group

Sparks-Wade injured in domestic incident

Jamal Washington arrested after barricading home he shares with councilwoman

Crusader Staff Report

Gary Councilwoman La Vetta Sparks-Wade was reportedly injured in a domestic incident at a home she shares with former Lake County Councilman Jamal Washington.

Washington was arrested after he barricaded himself inside the home in the 3900 block of Martin Luther King Drive, law enforcement officials confirmed in news reports. Washington was taken to the Gary Police Department for questioning. No charges were filed because Lake County government was closed due to the extreme cold weather.

As of press time Wednesday, no details were available on Sparks-Wade’s injury. It was not clear whether Sparks-Wade sought medical attention for her injury.

Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez confirmed news reports that said county and city police responded Wednesday morning to Sparks-Wade’s residence to “conduct a welfare check on an individual.”

Sparks-Wade, a mayoral candidate, is a strong political supporter of  Washington.

Washington — twice-convicted for past domestic violence involving female family members — allegedly barricaded himself inside the home in the 3900 block of Martin Luther King Drive, according to officials.

The 45-year-old embattled ex-Lake County councilman and current Gary City Council candidate was arrested and transported to the city’s Police Department for questioning.

Washington was still being questioned by Gary police as of early Wednesday evening.

Less than two months ago, Washington was sentenced to 180 days at the Lake County Jail after he was convicted for beating a female cousin. A police official said because Washington is a former public official and current candidate for Gary city council, he will be held in isolation at the jail for his own safety.

Earlier this month, Washington filed paperwork to put his name on the May 7 ballot as a Democratic candidate for one of the three at-large seats on the Gary City Council.

Washington in a news report said he moved from his previous residence on Connecticut Street in Merrillville’s Hilldale subdivision to Sparks-Wade’s home in Gary’s Glen Park neighborhood to gain city residency status.

The two reportedly have long been political allies. They appeared together frequently on Facebook live broadcasts to discuss Gary and Lake County politics, corruption and their individual election platforms.

Washington has served four years as the 3rd District Lake County councilman, representing residents in Merrillville, parts of Gary, Lake Station and Schererville.

In the 2018 primary, Washington was defeated by Lake County Commissioner Kyle Allen.

On December 3, 2015, Washington was arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife and a female employee. He pleaded guilty to aggravated battery and the charges involving the female employee were later dropped.

On December 2, 2017, Washington was arrested again for beating his 24-year-old cousin. Washington pleaded not guilty. He was convicted November 14 of misdemeanor battery and interference with reporting crime for the assault of his cousin. He was cleared on felony counts of battery, criminal confinement and intimidation.

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