A Farmington man was arrested in connection with felony fleeing charges after being suspected of leading Siloam Springs Police Officers on a near six-mile pursuit.
The incident unfolded around 11:40 p.m. on Sept. 1 after Zackery Taylor Thompson, 22, allegedly failed to use a turn signal on more than one occasion, prompting Sgt. Stephen Deppner of the Siloam Springs Police Department to attempt to pull Thompson over while he was heading west on U.S. Hwy. 412., according to an affidavit of probable cause filed on Sept. 7. After Deppner turned on his emergency lights, the suspect turned north onto Elm Street, striking a curb in the process and coming to a sudden stop in the middle of the roadway, the affidavit states.
When Deppner got out of his vehicle, he stated he could see the suspect looking at him through the vehicle's side mirror. The suspect then put the vehicle into drive and fled the area, exceeding speeds of more than 50 miles per hour on Elm Street, failing to obey stop signs at intersections along the way until the street turned into Jefferson Street, where he made an abrupt turn onto South Wright Street, the affidavit states.
The suspect hit a "dip in the road" on South Wright Street, causing his vehicle to briefly become airborne and after landing, it produced a spray of sparks began swerving back and forth, according to the affidavit. After managing to cross the intersection at Kenwood Street and pass through the Harp's parking lot, the suspect began heading west on U.S. Hwy. 412 again, accelerating to speeds exceeding 80 miles per hour, the affidavit states. Shortly after crossing into Oklahoma, Deppner and a fellow officer followed the vehicle onto a dirt road, where they lost sight of it due to limited visibility caused by dust clouds, it states.
Deppner terminated the pursuit and headed back to Siloam Springs, according the affidavit. About 10 minutes later, Deppner was advised that officers of the West Siloam Springs Police Department located the suspect's vehicle near Colcord, Okla., and that they detained a female passenger found in the front seat, the affidavit states. The passenger, Sarah Bowers, said she was the owner of the vehicle but that the suspect, Zackery Thompson, was driving during the pursuit, it states.
Bowers told police she met Thompson in Bentonville several months ago and that she accompanied Thompson and another male known only to her as "Journey," to a property located at 708 W. Tulsa St., where Thompson, "Journey," and other individuals began smoking marijuana, according to the affidavit. After noticing a police vehicle pass by, Bowers told police that it "freaked them out," prompting her, Thompson and "Journey" to leave the location, and that the events described above occurred thereafter.
She told police that after Deppner's attempt to stop the vehicle, Thompson began to drive in a reckless manner, stating that he had a warrant out for his arrest in addition to being on parole, the affidavit states. After stopping at the location in which officers located the vehicle, Bowers said that Thompson and "Journey" removed several items from the vehicle, told her to run or otherwise be killed and the two then proceeded to flee on foot, according to the affidavit.
Bowers was ultimately released from the scene. On Sept. 3 at approximately 10:45 a.m., Deppner received a call from a fellow officer telling him that he had arrested Thompson on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant in addition to drug charges, the affidavit states. After speaking to Thompson regarding the events from Saturday night, Deppner stated that the suspect said he fled because he did not want to go to jail and because he was "high" at the time.
Thompson remained in custody at the Benton County Jail as of Friday with a $15,000 bond. He is being held on a total of 22 charges, including three felonies and his court date is scheduled for Oct. 15.General News on 09/16/2018
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