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The Shortest Arkansas State Police Pursuit

From the report of Trooper Joshua Porter, lightly edited for clarity: On February 24, 2021, at approximately 11:39 p.m., I was traveling through a Shell Gas Station when I observed a license plate that was bent upward on a white Chevrolet Cruze. I ran the Arkansas license plate, 401ZDC, and the tag returned stolen out of the Fort Smith Police Department.

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I turned around and initiated my emergency lights to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle. The driver, Zackery Wilson, was in the vehicle. The passenger, Garret Cardwell, was sitting down in the passenger seat as l approached the vehicle. Wilson ignored my lights and began to back out of the parking space. I initiated my siren and the vehicle continued to travel out of the Shell Gas Station. The vehicle then traveled onto Rogers Avenue and then turned onto Cliff Drive. The vehicle continued to not stop for my lights and siren. I told Troop H dispatch that I was in pursuit of the vehicle. I then traveled beside the vehicle to perform a PIT maneuver to the left rear side of the suspect vehicle to end the pursuit.

The PIT ended with the vehicle in the grass against a barbed wire fence. I then observed a large cup being thrown out of the passenger side window. I waited for additional units before ordering the suspects out of the vehicle. When a Fort Smith Police Officer arrived on scene, I ordered one suspect at a time, to come out of the driver’s side window. Both suspects were placed in handcuffs without incident.

I went to see what was thrown out of the vehicle and found a large cup. Inside the cup, I found two baggies of a crystal-like substance weighing approximately 1.7 ouncez and a baggie of marijuana weighing approximately 3 grams. A used marijuana pipe and a scale with marijuana residue on it were found in the vehicle.

Both suspects stated they didn’t know anything about the illegal substances that were found. Wilson was driving on a suspended license, there was no insurance on the vehicle, and the vehicle had expired tags of 7/2020. Wilson had three active warrants for his arrest; Cardwell had two active warrants for his arrest. There was no damage to the barbed wire fence. The crystal-like substances and the marijuana were sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for further testing. The pipe and scale are being held at Troop H Headquarters in evidence.

00:00 Stolen license plate
01:47 Pursuit reported
01:52 PIT maneuver
05:38 Climb out the window
07:14 Passenger out the window

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