Pursuit ends in crash; two people in custody
Two people were arrested last Thursday following a police pursuit that ended in a rollover crash off of Arkansas Highway 16 and drugs and a firearm in the yard of a residence.
Austin Michael Lucas of Tulsa, Okla., and Kira Breann-May Dye of Siloam Springs, were arrested in connection with the pursuit, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed by the Benton County Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 26.
Events that led up to the pursuit began about 5:15 p.m.
when Sgt. Jed White of the Siloam Springs Police Department noticed a black Hyundai Tiburon parked near a residence currently known for drug activity, according to the affidavit.
After following the vehicle to another location, also known for drug activity, Officer Travis Luper noticed there was a crack in its windshield as well as “spider-webbing,” in front of the driver seat, which can obstruct a driver’s view, according to the affidavit. The vehicle left the area at about 7:50 p.m. and shortly thereafter, White advised Officer Joshua Cottingham of the vehicle’s description and told him that it had a cracked windshield that was obstructing the driver’s view.
Cottingham located the vehicle and attempted to initiate a traffic stop at 606 S. Maxwell St. When he exited his patrol car to make contact, the affidavit states that the vehicle began heading down South Maxwell Street, at which point Cottingham advised dispatch that he was in pursuit of a fleeing vehicle with Luper following behind. The vehicle drove down South Maxwell Street until reaching East Kenwood Street, where it then turned left and began heading east, running four stop signs, one red light and reaching speeds as high as 70 miles per hour.
The vehicle continued on East Kenwood Street until reaching the intersection of State Highway 16, where it turned right and began heading south on State Highway 16, according to the affidavit. Speeds then accelerated to as high 95 miles per hour and about one mile after turning onto State Highway 16, the vehicle exited the roadway and crashed into “… a wooded hillside,” rolling onto its roof with the passenger side closest to the hill.
Both suspects exited the vehicle from the driver’s side window, and while paramedics declared Lucas injury-free, Dye was transported to Siloam Springs Regional Hospital, according to the affidavit. In a later interview with a local detective, Dye stated that she was driving and that they fled because they had drugs and a .22 caliber pistol in the vehicle and that Lucas threw items out of the passenger window during the pursuit.
When taking inventory of items in the vehicle, the affidavit states that .22 short ammunition was “… scattered throughout the vehicle,” and that a box of .22 short ammunition, a box of .38 special ammunition and an empty handgun magazine that was labeled .380 were found in the glove box. Cottingham also said that he noticed a Calvin Klein purse on the floorboard of the passenger seat, and inside he located two, orange circular pills that were later identified as Oxymorphone Hydrochloride.
When searching outside of the vehicle on the hill close to where it crashed, Cottingham said he found a syringe that had moisture inside of the tube and a clear plastic bag containing 2.4 grams of a white crystal substance, according to the affidavit. The substance was field tested and the results came back as positive for methamphetamine.
Because Dye told the detective there were drugs and a firearm in the vehicle — and that a small amount of drugs and no firearm were found — White returned on Friday afternoon to scan the entire path of the pursuit to see if there was something that was thrown from the window that they missed, according to the affidavit. Roughly 15 feet from the roadway in the front yard of a residence located on the 800 block of South Maxwell Street, White located a “… red Case Logic zipper case with a hand drawn money sign on it.”
About 10 feet away, he located a North American Arms .22 mag five shot revolver, in addition to finding a pistol holster with a matching brand in front of the drain pipe of the same residence. According to the affidavit, the contents of the Case Logic zipper case were four plastic bags that each contained a white crystal substance with a combined weight of 53 grams; it was later field tested and the results were positive for methamphetamine. The affidavit also states there were four plastic bags with a crystal residue inside them, an unnamed, yellow circular pill, a red plastic straw with white residue in it, 18 unused plastic bags and a Weighmax digital scale.
White also spoke with the homeowners at the residence where he located the additional items, who said they did not see any of the items, nor did they own a .22 caliber pistol. Lucas was being held at the Benton County Jail as of Friday on a $30,000 bond, is facing a total of nine charges, at least seven which are felonies and his court date is set for Dec. 3. Dye was also being held at the Benton County Jail as of Friday on a $35,000 bond, is facing a total of 10 charges, at least eight of which are felonies and due to the nature of her charges, she will have court dates on Nov. 13, Nov. 27 and Dec. 3.