Three arrested after high speed pursuit
By Patrick Massey

Three Horatio men are facing felony charges after leading local law enforcement on a high speed motorcycle pursuit yesterday afternoon.

According to the Sevier County Sheriff's Office, Deputies Chad Dowdle and Chris Wolcott were patrolling Highway 41 several miles north of Horatio around 3 p.m. when they met several motorcycles traveling south towards the city limits. The last rider was seen illegally passing a vehicle on the shoulder.

The deputies turned around to initiate a traffic stop and got behind the riders, who then refused to stop. The three motorcycles allegedly led deputies on a pursuit towards Horatio, illegally passing numerous vehicles including several 18-wheelers. Upon entering the Horatio city limits a school bus full of Horatio Elementary students reportedly had to swerve into the highway shoulder to avoid colliding with one of the riders.

The deputies, who were the only law enforcement involved in the pursuit before backup arrived, witnessed two of the motorcycles turn off onto Henderson Street in Horatio, while the third continued south through town. Dowdle and Wolcott continued following the third to the Horatio Post Office, where the rider of the bike lost control while attempting to navigate a high-speed turn onto Doggett Street.

The rider, identified as Carlos Contreras, was then taken into custody.
Arriving backup, including Arkansas State Police and Highway Police units, began searching for the two other riders on Henderson Street. Two bikes matching Dowdle's description were located behind the house on 107 Henderson Street. Law enforcement agents found the back door kicked in.

Uncertain who the house belonged to, authorities feared a hostage situation had developed inside the home. Deputies could not get anyone to answer the door and then entered. After a brief search four individuals were located lying on a bed in a back room of the house.
The four admitted to being involved in the pursuit.

Deputies then determined that the house belonged to one of the riders, Glen Stinnett, who had kicked in the door to his own home while trying to elude police.

Stinnett, as well as the other driver, Jerry Don Brown, were placed into custody. The other two, including one female 15-year-old, were released as they had been passengers on the bikes.

Stinnett, Contreras and Brown have each been charged with felony fleeing. Brown and Contreras also received charges of driving on suspended licenses - the reason they fled in the first place, the two allegedly admitted. Stinnett, who was driving with the juvenile in the passenger seat, will also face another felony charge for endangering the welfare of a minor.

All three are currently awaiting their initial court hearing in the Sevier County Jail.




County residents shoot down annexation
By Patrick Massey

Over a dozen county residents attended Tuesday night's meeting of the De Queen City Council to voice opposition to future annexation of their areas, leaving the issue dead on arrival.

The annexation issue, as well as a discussion on city subdivision and housing rules, were on the meeting's agenda as part of a long-range planning session to look at how growth can be stimulated in the city limits. The discussion did not last long before the issue of annexation took over.

"We're not ready to be annexed in," said Paul Spears, who lives east of De Queen. "I speak for a lot out there when I say we have no wish to be in the city limits. The city doesn't have anything to give us that we don't already have."

Others at the meeting shared similar sentiments, suggesting that if they wanted to live in the city limits, they would do so on their own accord. One county landowner said she has chicken houses that are frequent targets of varmits and pests.

"We have skunks, armadillos, coyotes that try to get in and we have to shoot them," she said. "Could we do that if we were in the city limits? No."

To read the complete article, please see the April 17 edition of The De Queen Bee.



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