UPDATE: Suspect appeared in court - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

UPDATE: Suspect appeared in court

(Source: James Barham) (Source: James Barham)
Albert Brown (Source: Craighead County Sheriff's Office) Albert Brown (Source: Craighead County Sheriff's Office)
JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -

MAY 12 UPDATE: Albert Brown appeared in court on Thursday.

Brown was given a $100,000 temporary bond.

He must also undergo a mental health evaluation.

He is due back in court on June 28.


A man stole a police cruiser and drove off leading police on a chase Tuesday night.

According to a press release from the Jonesboro Police Department, a Trumann man was the suspect.

Police first responded to a local hospital after Albert Brown, 39, reported that “the Ku Klux Klan had tampered with his transmission and they may try to kill him before an officer gets there," according to the report.

When officers arrived, Brown would not speak with them, refused treatment and left the hospital.

Less than an hour after, dispatch received multiple reports of a man driving hazardously, disregarding traffic signals and running other cars off the road.

Cpl. Keri Varner spotted the car and stopped it on I-555, east of the Southwest Drive intersection.

Brown stopped on the shoulder and got out of the vehicle.

He ignored Varner’s commands to step back to her vehicle. Instead, he got back in his own vehicle.

Varner deployed her taser, but it had no effect on Brown.

“Usually, they work, but when they don’t work it is a very tense and dangerous situation," Jonesboro Police Public Information Specialist Paul Holmes said. "Why it had no affect we do not know."

He left his car in gear, got out and started running from Varner.

Officer Susan Gray arrived on scene at Culberhouse to assist Varner. She also tased Brown with no effect.

Brown ran from them, jumped in Gray’s vehicle and sped off in it.

"The officer got out of her car and went to assist and left the car running so he was able to get in it and take off," Holmes said.

Holmes said generally officers lock their cars before going on a pursuit, but there were several factors in this situation.

“Generally, you would want to keep your vehicle secure, but in an emergency circumstance like this the first response is to assist the officer and keep the public safe and that is what was done in this case," Holmes said.

Holmes said the ultimate goal for any officer is to keep those in the area safe.

“The first thing the officer is thinking about is to remove the hazard from the road and to keep the motorist and other officers safe along with anyone else and to safely take the man into custody," Holmes said. "Perhaps the last thing she thought about was to take the time to lock her vehicle when there were so many hazards presented to the public and the officer.”

James Barham was at Parker Road when the incident occurred.

He said he saw the suspect with his hands in the air while approaching the officer.

"We were stunned," Barham said. "We'd never seen anything like it and it was an eerie feeling. Just all the traffic had come to a standstill and I told... after a few seconds I told my wife we gotta start recording cause I didn't know what was gonna happen."

Brown fled south down Culberhouse, to Lawson Road then to Stadium Boulevard to Highway 158 and eventually to I-555 southbound at Bay. Officers were behind him the whole time.

Barham told Region 8 News he saw more than 10 officers responding to the chase.

State Police Trooper First Class Anthony Maggitt, who took the lead in the chase, pulled up beside Brown and motioned for him to stop.

“The trooper was able to pull up beside the man and convince him to pull over after he fled from our officers and made no attempt to stop," Holmes said. "In fact, he was yelling incoherently on the police radio and our officers were trying to talk to him and he ignored our officers."

Brown stopped and was taken into custody without further incident.

According to the press release, he was taken to a hospital for a mental evaluation because of his behavior.

He faces multiple charges including theft, felony fleeing, and reckless driving.

Holmes said a detective has been assigned to the case to see what led Brown to steal the vehicle.

“What was at the root of the suspect’s problem we do not know at this time, but we certainly would like to know," Holmes said.

Holmes said the department is thankful the incident was solved without any injuries.

“He certainly could have turned it into a weapon or a missile and injured innocent others so we want to get that situation under control as fast as we can and stop that threat," Holmes said. “Our officers are concerned with the safety of the public and want to try to end this successfully and quickly without injury and that is what we were able to do.”

Brown will be in court either Thursday or Friday, according to Holmes.

The following is the dispatch call log on the incident (Source: Jonesboro Police Department)

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