Man charged with cruelty to animals following high-speed chase

Man charged with cruelty to animals following high-speed chase

RANDOLPH COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - A Peach Orchard man faces numerous charges after a high-speed chase in Randolph County over the weekend.

Sheriff Gary Tribble picked up on the chase just before 10 a.m. He heard an officer over dispatch attempting to stop a vehicle on Old Country Road.

The sheriff caught up with the chase in Pocahontas near Ace Hardware. The high-speed chase continued on Highway 62 until the group turned off at Engleberg Road then onto Cagle Road. The chase continued onto Highway 115 before returning to Engleberg.

The suspected driver, later identified as 27-year-old Zachary Johnson, was seen driving at high speeds, driving in the wrong lane, and crossing over the center of the road.

Due to Johnson's "apparent disregard for other traffic and citizens' safety" and failure to stop for law enforcement, Tribble stated in the incident report that he decided to do a PIT maneuver on the truck the suspect was driving.

The sheriff performed the maneuver and the truck slid to the left side of the road. It hit a tree line, went airborne, and rolled over.

Tribble and another officer broke out the windshield then arrested Johnson.

While being arrested, Johnson reportedly asked the sheriff why he hit him. Tribble said, "Because you wouldn't stop" to which Johnson replied, "I understand."

Johnson went on to tell investigators the reason he fled was that he had an issue with a parole officer.

Paramedics arrived and Johnson was taken to a hospital for treatment.

The sheriff noticed a young, pit bull dog was dead outside of Johnson's truck. Tribble stated the dog was with the suspect and died in the crash.

In addition to several traffic misdemeanors, Johnson faces the following felonies:

  • Aggravated assault-Class D (4 counts)
  • Fleeing-Class D
  • Aggravated cruelty to animals-Class D

On Friday, a judge found probable cause to charge Johnson and set his bond at $10,000 cash-only.

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