Authorities say a Stone County absconder, refusing to be taken into custody, rammed a police car in an effort to escape from officers on Thursday.
In a media release, officials said it all started when Stone County deputies were contacted in reference to an illegal dumping complaint on the side of Younger Access Road.
Lt. Dammon McGilton responded to the area along with Arkansas Game & Fish Sgt. John Crisman. The officers located spoiled grain, chicken litter, burned rafters, bedsprings, and other trash. Some of the trash was also found on the country road right-of-way, according to officials.
A witness said a dark blue flatbed truck, pulling a dump bed tractor-trailer came through the area around 7 a.m. Thursday.
Shortly after 10 a.m., the officers located the vehicle and dump trailer along with other sacks of spoiled grain at a residence on the corner of Church Road and Highway 14 East in Saint James, just a few miles from the dumpsite.
Officials say there was a man in the yard of the residence, and as officers approached, he ran and jumped into the one-ton flatbed truck. The man managed to drive away, but McGilton recognized him as a wanted parole absconder, Billy Ray Willis (pictured above in his booking photo from the Stone County Sheriff’s Office). Willis has been wanted since October of 2018 for aggravated assault and fleeting, according to authorities.
Willis led the officers on a chase on Church Road, stopping twice and putting his truck in reverse, trying to ram one of the officers’ vehicles, the release said. He was successful in hitting McGilton’s patrol unit. McGilton then shot the back rear dual tires of Willis’ truck, but Willis continued to flee.
When Willis turned into a residence on Lindsey Hill Road, McGilton administered a PIT (pursuit intervention technique) maneuver, stopping the truck, and ending the pursuit. After a struggle, Willis was taken into custody.
The Arkansas State Police were called in to work the traffic collisions during the pursuit.
Willis is being charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer; felony fleeing with property damage; resisting arrest; leaving the scene of an accident; driving on a suspended license; no proof of liability insurance; reckless driving; fictitious tags; and littering — the reason the incident occurred in the first place.
Willis also has a no bond absconder warrant obtained by the Arkansas Board of Parole.
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