A Vilonia man accused of attacking his girlfriend reportedly led authorities on a high-speed chase last week.
Online records show that Andy Lee Copa, 41, was formally charged Friday with five felony charges – fleeing in a vehicle causing substantial danger of death and two counts each of aggravated assault and violating a protection order – as well as four misdemeanor charges – third-degree domestic battery, interference with emergency communications, second-degree endangering the welfare of a minor and first-degree criminal mischief following an incident that reportedly occurred around 7 p.m. March 31.
Authorities initially were called to a residence in the 2100 block of Hairston Street after a woman witnessed the Vilonia man hitting her neighbor as the victim held her daughter in the front yard, according to the probable cause affidavit filed against Copa.
As officer Ryan Britton headed over to the residence in question, a dispatcher alerted him that Copa had a no contact order against him that protected the woman and that he is known to park behind the woman’s home.
After he got to the Hairston Street residence, Britton said it appeared no one was home. However, there was “a lady across the street [who] was yelling at us trying to tell us something” when he suddenly heard an engine “revving from behind the house.”
“I thought it was on the next street over until I saw a silver truck crash through a fence and come out of the back yard,” Britton wrote in his report. “The truck then sped off east on Hairston [Street] toward Donaghey [Avenue].”
Britton chased after the vehicle and other Conway officers also joined the pursuit in an attempt to stop Copa, according to the affidavit.
The Vilonia man reportedly led authorities through several city streets before he eventually jumped onto Interstate 40 from Central Landing Boulevard, speeding off at more than 120 mph.
At one point, Britton said it appeared Copa tried to force the officer to crash into the back of his vehicle.
“The man slammed on his brakes in an attempt to get me to rear end him and then swerved over towards me, causing me to have to swerve a little bit,” Britton’s report reads in part. “I was able to avoid the accident and watched the man do a 360-degree turn in the roadway. During the 360-degree turn, he looked at me and flipped me off. After this blatant attempt to make me crash my patrol car, I continued the pursuit at a further distance than before.”
According to the affidavit, Mayflower officer Darrick Simmons joined the pursuit as Copa passed Exit 136.
Copa also tried to deliberately run Simmons off the roadway as well, according to a report.
The Vilonia man ended the pursuit near the 137 mile marker, got out of his vehicle and laid in the roadway, according to the affidavit.
Online records show that Copa remains behind bars in the Faulkner County Detention Center in lieu of a $20,000 bond following the incident. The Vilonia man is scheduled to appear next on June 8 in Faulkner County Circuit Court for a plea and arraignment hearing.