A Conway man wanted for his alleged involvement in a residential burglary case is being held behind bars in lieu of a $500,000 bond after reportedly firing off one round when officers arrested him Thursday.
Police were conducting surveillance on 26-year-old Benjamin Prowell’s residence in the 200 block of South Center Street on Thursday because he was wanted in connection to residential burglary and criminal mischief charges.
When officer Brandon Huff walked up to the apartment in question, the suspect’s mother opened the door, which is when he saw Prowell “standing near the southeast bedroom, eating a sandwich.”
The 26-year-old was wanted for connection following an incident that occurred at the Chapel Ridge Apartments around 4:20 a.m. Wednesday. According to an incident report, Prowell “attempted to open the door” of a woman’s home, demanding she let his children leave with him.
Prowell had a black bar in his hands when he tried to break into the woman’s home, according to her statement.
The woman told police that once she refused to let Prowell pick up his children early in the morning, he tried to leave but his car wouldn’t start. Because he was having car problems, Prowell ultimately took off walking.
According to the report, officer Stephen A. Eifling noticed there was a blow torch in the front seat of Prowell’s vehicle. After looking at the vehicle, Rifling went back to the woman’s apartment to follow up the investigation when he noticed there was a black 2013 Volkswagen CC parked out front that had “noticeable damage on the hood.”
“Upon further inspection, I noticed the windshield wiper arms were in the upright position and charred toward the ends,” Eifling’s report reads in part. “There was melted material all over the hood and windshield. The rains of the windshield wiper blades were on either side of the car. The antenna towards the rear of the vehicle on the roof showed signs of melting as well.”
When officers located Prowell at his home on Thursday, he fought off four officers as they tried to handcuff him and fired one shot during the scuffle, according to a search warrant affidavit.
Authorities released a statement Thursday afternoon regarding the incident.
“During a physical struggle with the officers, the suspect fired a handgun that was in his possession,” officials said. “Officers were then able to take him into custody. Officers initially believed the suspect had shot himself and called for medical attention but it was quickly discovered that nobody had been hit when he round was fired.”
According to the affidavit, Prowell pulled the gun out “from underneath him” during the struggle after he was tased three times.
The gun was fired while officers were on top of Prowell, the affidavit states.
Detective Joshua Fulbright requested a judge’s OK to conduct a search of Prowell’s home in case there was any evidence related to the case in the apartment.
“Due to the crimes that occurred during this incident, it is essential the evidence located inside the apartment, specifically the shell casing and fired bullet, be recovered,” Fulbright wrote in the search warrant affidavit, adding that Prowell “shows to have a felony conviction in October of 2013.”
Both cases remain under investigation.
“The suspect has been taken into custody, the incident is under investigation and the determination of additional charges related to the arrest incident are pending,” officials said.
Prowell appeared via video conference Friday morning before Circuit Judge Chris R. Carnahan and was ordered to remain behind bars in lieu of a $500,000 bond.
The 26-year-old will be charged as a lower habitual offender if formal charges are filed, Cody Arnold, a 20th Judicial District deputy prosecutor, said in court Friday.
The Conway man is expected to appear next Oct. 7 in Faulkner County Circuit Court for a status hearing regarding the pending cases.
Staff writer Marisa Hicks can be reached at email@example.com.