A Conway motorist might have thought he’d gotten away clean after a high-speed police chase through the middle of town Friday morning. But he’d have been wrong.
According to incident reports released today, an officer was watching the intersection of Meadowlake Road and Washington Avenue when a white Cadillac DeVille rolled through the stopsign turning right on to Washington.
The officer followed the Cadillac with lights and siren activated while the driver looped back around onto Meadowlake Road and drove through the Plaza Pointe apartment complex in a meandering chase that ended when the officer backed off "for my safety and the safety of the public" after the Cadillac hit 65 mph on Meadowlake Road after running several stopsigns and a traffic light.
The pursuit didn’t end with the car chase. The Cadillac’s license plate number was recorded, and officers were looking for it. On Sunday morning, another officer spotted it at Stone Ridge Apartments on Rich Smith Lane at the east end of the city and radioed the officer who had given chase.
At the apartment, the officers found a 34-year-old man hiding under a bed and, after a brief struggle, arrested him after finding that he had a warrant out of Brinkley, Arkansas. According to an incident report, this man admitted after being Mirandized that he fled on Friday because he didn’t have a driver’s license and was afraid of getting into trouble. The officers also arrested his 31-year-old brother at the apartment on an unrelated warrant.
The Conway Police Department’s policy on high-speed pursuits is generally to back off "if the danger created by the pursuit outweighs the necessity for our officers to immediately apprehend someone," Chief of Police A.J. Gary said. This involves weighing factors including what part of the city the pursuit is in, school zones and neighborhoods and pedestrians in the area against the seriousness of the suspected crime.
A supervisor can make the call to back off or, as was the case on Friday, an officer can make the call themselves.