Escaped inmate back in custody, sheriff says

Escaped inmate back in custody, sheriff says
Law enforcement officials say 32-year-old Jonathan Ware escaped the Poinsett Co. Detention Center by jumping 2 barbed wire fences. (Source: Poinsett County Sheriff's Office)

HARRISBURG, Ark. (KAIT) - The search for an inmate who fled the Poinsett County Detention Center Thursday has ended with the man’s arrest.

According to Poinsett County Sheriff Kevin Molder, Jonathan Ware is now in custody after being found in a house on Elm Street in Harrisburg around 7:00 p.m.

Poinsett County authorities had been looking for Ware, 32, of Harrisburg, who jumped two barbed wire fences to escape the county jail Thursday afternoon around 2:30.

After Ware jumped the fence, a release from the sheriff says Ware entered a home on Old Military Lane and changed clothes to elude detection.

The owner of the home noticed someone had broken in so he called dispatch to report the burglary.

Ware was seen running in Harrisburg down Border Street. The chase ensued and Ware ran into a house on Elm Street.

Ware dived head-first into a window, breaking the glass, and injuring two officers.

Ware fought the officers and attempted to break the glass on a patrol car.

He was taken to the Poinsett County Detention Center.

Ware was in jail on second-degree battery and fleeing charges when he escaped, with Poinsett County deputies, Harrisburg police, Trumann police, Arkansas State Police and Arkansas Highway Police looking for him.

Molder also said in a media post that a warrant for third-degree escape has been issued for Ware in connection with Thursday’s escape.

In addition to the escape charge, Ware was arrested on suspicion of one count of battery on a police officer and Molder said Ware is being investigated in connection with a burglary Thursday.

The escape Thursday was not the first by Ware in recent years.

Ware was arrested in Oct. 2017 on suspicion of second-degree battery after he reportedly escaped police custody. At the time, police said Ware was stabbed in the back by a man after a fight.

Investigators said the man told Ware to stop harassing his mother, he picked up a golf club and hit the man in the head. From there, the man then grabbed a knife and stabbed Ware in the lower back.

Police later searched for Ware and a homeowner found him hiding in a garbage can.

The homeowner held Ware at gunpoint until a Craighead County deputy got to the scene, then arrested him.

Authorities also said area dispatchers played a major role in Ware’s arrest in that case, with it taking seven minutes for authorities to arrive on scene to arrest him.

Region 8 News will have more details as they become available.

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