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Posted by Arkansas 911 News Chief Editor Paul Maddox
All suspects are presumed innocent until determined guilty in court.
I was rolling around early this morning on Highway 270W in Royal when I saw a buddy of mine’s truck sitting at a late night establishment. I stopped in there to get a coke and say “hi” (haven’t seen him for months).
I went in, found him and we wound up outside at my truck. We chit-chatted for about 1 minute and we saw blue lights coming for us. It was a Garland County Sheriff’s Patrol Deputy conducting a traffic stop. The suspect vehicle pulled into the parking lot I was in and stopped. I knew that Dep. Cogburn was on overtime DWI patrol and instantly recognized him when he got out to make contact.
He made contact with the driver, Donato Leon Sutton, 38, of Lakeland Dive in Hot Springs and a Pit Bull Dog that was camped out in the back seat of the suspect vehicle.
Dep. Cogburn did his first contact routine. Then, he went back to his patrol car. About the time he got to his driver door, the suspect vehicle tore out of the parking lot and fled West on the highway.
Deputy Cogburn got back in his patrol vehicle and went after the suspect.
Deputies were already dealing with a naked man in the area of the Brady Mountain 1 Stop, which is only a couple of miles west of where the pursuit began. GCSO Patrol Deputy Hampton was able to take a break with the naked man for a minute to toss a spike strip into the highway.
The pursuit sailed past the deputy’s location and when it did, it hit the spikes. 3 tires on the suspect’s vehicle went flat instantly. The vehicle crossed the entire highway about 1/4 mile after being spiked and stopped on the opposite paved shoulder.
Deputies arrested the suspect upon contact and transported him to the Garland County Sheriff’s Detention Center for processing.
Hot Springs Animal Services were called to the scene to deal with the dog. The Animal Control Troop arrived quickly. He got the dog catcher pole out and approached the suspect vehicle. He was able to easily get the loop around the dog’s neck and helped him out of the vehicle. The dog was gentle and seemed happy. He never growled, snapped or anything. The Animal Control Officer was able to use the pole as a leash and just guided the dog to the back of his truck. The dog was loaded into the animal box with no trouble at all. The dog was transported to the Hot Springs Animal Control Shelter for safekeeping.
Mr. Sutton is charged with DWI, Fleeing and Refusal To Submit To Chemical Test with a bond amount totaling $2,000. He was also issued about 8 traffic tickets.