Officers use tasers, pepper spray to arrest chase suspect

Officers use tasers, pepper spray to arrest chase suspect

CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - It took tasers, pepper spray, and three law enforcement officers from two jurisdictions to take a man into custody.

Just after 4 a.m. Saturday, Craighead County Constable Dan Walker attempted to a stop a vehicle driving "very recklessly" on Highway 18, north of Cash.

According to an incident report from the sheriff's office, the driver was "all over the roadway," traveling at approximately 30 miles per hour.

Deputy Dustin Norwood, who was near Bono, attempted to get in front of the pursuit but as he approached Highway 230 from U.S. Highway 63, the fleeing driver had increased speed dramatically, to approximately 85 miles an hour.

Walker informed dispatch that the car had traveled through Egypt and was northbound on Highway 91, heading into Lawrence County.

Norwood radioed ahead to Lawrence County to alert them of the chase, then continued to the intersection of Hwy. 91 and U.S. 63 to attempt to stop oncoming traffic.

As the car entered the intersection, a Lawrence County sheriff's deputy attempted to deploy spike strips, but they were ineffective, the report stated.

The vehicle crossed U.S. 63, running the red light, at approximately 90 miles per hour and continued north.

A short time later, the driver failed to negotiate a curve and crashed the car at the intersection of Lawrence County Road 620 and Hwy. 91.

Officers ordered the driver to show his hands and step out of the vehicle, but he refused to comply.

As Norwood and another officer approached the car, the driver was still trying to drive out of the thicket.

They gave the driver, later identified as 41-year-old Joseph Wolford of Hoxie, multiple orders to get out of the car, but he refused to do so.

Norwood pepper-sprayed Wolford, but he said the man would still not comply.

A Lawrence County deputy then deployed his taser which reportedly had "little effect" on Wolford.

After Wolford continued to ignore their orders, Norwood then deployed his taser. The darts hit the suspect in the chest and abdomen.

"This too had little effect on Wolford," Norwood stated. "Eventually, two other officers and I pulled him from the vehicle, taking him into custody."

Following his arrest, Norwood stated it was evident Wolford was "severely intoxicated."

The officers used water to remove the pepper spray and removed the taser probes from Wolford's body. An ambulance crew dispatched to the scene cleared him to go to jail.

Constable Walker took Wolford to the Craighead County Detention Center and left him on suspicion of felony fleeing in a vehicle, reckless driving, refusal to submit, DWI #2, refusal to submit to a chemical test, and driving on a revoked driver's license.

The Lawrence County Sheriff's Office also placed a hold on Wolford for pending charges.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Watch Region 8 News On Demand: On your Desktop | On your Mobile device

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android