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All suspects are presumed innocent until determined guilty in court.
Hot Springs Police Officers were dispatched to the 2700 Block of Central Avenue last week in reference to a rolling disturbance between 2 vehicles. The caller reported that a silver Nissan pick-up truck was attempting to ram her vehicle.
HSPD Officer Cheatham arrived in the area and found the victim’s vehicle in traffic with the suspect vehicle traveling alongside. Off. Cheatham stopped the suspect vehicle in the 1500 Block of Central Avenue. As soon as the suspect vehicle came to a stop, the driver, Ralph Andrew Stevens, 34, of Villawood Trail in Garland County, opened his door and allegedly said “ya’ll don’t understand..they stole money from me”.
Mr. Stevens information was run through the police computer. The computer check revealed that Mr. Stevens is on parole with a search waiver on file. Parolee Nathan O’Brien was also found to be in the vehicle. Both of these parolees have search waivers on file as part of their parole agreement.
Both parolees and a woman were ordered out of the vehicle and a search of the truck was to be conducted. Officers searched each occupant as they exited the truck. A torch lighter and a clear pipe with white residue was allegedly found in the jacket Parolee Stevens’s was wearing. Parolee Stevens was arrested and asked if anything else was in the vehicle. Parolee Stevens allegedly told officers that a gun was under the back seat. A loaded Glock 9mm semi-auto pistol was retrieved from that location.
Stevens then allegedly told officers that there was a backpack in the front passenger seat and that they would need a search warrant to get into it because he had placed a padlock on the zippers of the backpack. HSPD K-9 unit Corporal Jones and Keena were ordered to the scene to see about this bag. As the K-9 Team arrived and got ready to go to work, Parolee Stevens allegedly told the officers that marijuana, dope and another gun were inside the backpack.
Parolee Stevens ultimately gave the combination for the lock to Cpl. Jones. Inside the bag, Cpl. Jones allegedly found over 5.5 ounces of marijuana, over 100 grams, a Colt Mustang .380 caliber pistol, a digital scale, multiple baggies of varying sizes and $3,916 in cash. $60 in cash and several loose 9mm bullets were also located in the truck’s glove box.
Parolee Stevens allegedly claimed all of the items found. The other occupants of the vehicle were released at the scene. HSPD Special Investigations Detectives arrived at the scene and assumed the case.