Little Rock man, teen arrested after lengthy high-speed pursuit involving stolen vehicle
A man and a teenager, both of Little Rock, were arrested Saturday evening after a high-speed pursuit in a reportedly stolen vehicle that began on Highway 70 east in Garland County and ended in a wreck on Interstate 30 in Saline County.
Mark Antonio Davis, 22, and Justin Mekhi Jemerson, 18, who both list Little Rock addresses, were taken into custody shortly before 6 p.m. and each charged with a felony count of theft by receiving, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, for the theft of the vehicle.
Davis, who was allegedly driving, was also charged with felony counts of fleeing in a vehicle, punishable by up to 10 years, second-degree criminal mischief, punishable by up to six years, and a misdemeanor count of first-degree criminal mischief, punishable by up to one year in jail.
Jemerson and Davis were each booked into the Garland County Detention Center shortly after 9 p.m. and both were released the next day on bond with Jemerson posting $3,500 and Davis posting $10,500.
According to the probable cause affidavit, at around 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Arkansas State Police Trooper Justin Parker was patrolling on Highway 70 east near the rest area and was traveling eastbound when he passed a westbound black Dodge Charger that was allegedly traveling 81 mph in a 60 mph zone.
He turned around and caught up to the vehicle and a check of the tags showed it was reportedly stolen out of North Little Rock. He noted the vehicle had a registered color of red and appeared to have been spray-painted black.
Parker activated his lights to make a traffic stop and the Charger briefly slowed down and then made a U-turn in the middle of the highway and accelerated eastbound. Parker activated his siren and began pursuing the vehicle.
“The vehicle demonstrated complete disregard for the safety and welfare of fellow motorists as it recklessly swerved through traffic at speeds of 160 mph in a 60 mph zone with medium traffic volume,” Parker said.
He noted the driver continued to jeopardize other lives as he “passed same direction traffic through blind curves and hills” using the center turn lane and the shoulder of the road.
The Charger turned west onto Interstate 30 and continued to flee until it reached Exit 106 at Military Road in Benton, where it exited the interstate, ran the stop sign and then entered the westbound on-ramp to the interstate.
The operator lost control at that point while maneuvering the on-ramp and left the roadway, overturning and coming to rest on its roof against a tree on the side of the road.
The two male occupants exited the vehicle with one, identified as Jemerson, exiting the driver’s side rear window and the other, identified as Davis, exiting the passenger side front window. Both were taken into custody without further incident and Davis was found to have the keys to the car and allegedly admitted he was driving.
The vehicle, which had a Bluebook value of $9,500, reportedly sustained “catastrophic damage” as a result of the driver’s actions, the affidavit said. During the pursuit, the Charger traveled in prohibited areas, “causing rock and debris to fly,” and Parker’s windshield was struck by the rocks and sustained an estimated $500 in damages.
Davis suffered burns to his hand and Jemerson suffered injuries to his neck in the wreck, so they were transported by LifeNet to CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs for treatment, but later released and taken to jail.