Barry County law enforcement officials put a stop to a slow-speed chase that originated in downtown Eureka Springs, Ark., last week.
Officers in Eureka Springs received a call concerning a man who was possibly intoxicated last Thursday night and responded to the Eureka Live parking lot at about 11:38 p.m. The suspect was driving a gray Dodge pickup, and officers observed the vehicle swerving over the yellow line several times and drifting toward a ditch on the right.
Officers Shannon Hill and Brad Handley, of the Eureka Springs, (Ark.) Police Department, activated their sirens to make a traffic stop at the train depot parking lot, but the driver of the Dodge, Daniel Wayne Crawford, 47, of Norman, Ark., fled but not at a high rate of speed.
Officers followed the vehicle north of Highway 23 past the junction of Highway 187, where Crawford turned onto a dirt road and reversed direction on Highway 187 toward Beaver, Ark. Officers pursued the vehicle west on Highway 187 and then north on US 62 toward Gateway, Ark. Officers contacted Chief Earl Hyatt, of the Eureka Springs Police Department, to advise him the vehicle was blowing steam and smoke. Hyatt contacted the Benton County Sheriff's Department, asking for a spike strip to be placed on the highway, but Crawford had turned west prior to reaching the interception device. The Benton County deputy joined in the pursuit.
Crawford turned north at Gateway, Ark., heading into Seligman, where Officers Mike DeWitt, David Ruark and Mike Moore picked up the chase at Butler Hollow Road. The chase continued through Washburn and on to Cassville, where Barry County Sheriff's deputies and the Missouri State Highway Patrol took the lead. Officers with the Cassville Police Department ran safety maneuvers, blocking intersections at Highways 37, 86 and 76, and Business Highway 37 at Walmart.
Barry County officers requested a rolling block from Barry County dispatch, which would have allowed officers to maneuver their vehicles in front of the truck driven by the fleeing suspect and slowly bring the offender to a stop. That request was denied, but Seligman Police Chief Randy Kalbaugh authorized the emergency stop, which ended at Highway 37 and Airport Road in Cassville.
Seligman officers arrested Crawford, who was taken to the Barry County Jail and charged with reckless driving, driving with a suspended license due to a prior incident of driving while intoxicated, fleeing arrest and driving while intoxicated. Crawford was released the following day.
There is now a warrant for his arrest pending in Carroll and Benton counties in Arkansas.