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Newport Independent - Newport, AR
  • High speed pursuit ends with arrest

  • A Newport Police officer was unharmed after wrecking his cruiser during a high speed pursuit Monday afternoon.
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  • According to Lt. Patrick Weatherford, Newport Police Department, Patrolman Matt Easley attempted to perform a traffic stop on a black Ford Explorer owned by 28-year-old Paul C. McNutt after observing that the vehicle's registration was expired. 
    Police say Easley first spotted McNutt near the intersection of Stegall Road (State Highway 384) and Malcolm Avenue (State Highway 367) and McNutt pulled over in the old Walmart parking lot and came to a stop. 
    McNutt, according to police, then quickly accelerated and pulled out of the parking lot leading Easley on a high speed pursuit heading East on Stegall Road towards the Newport city limits. 
    Police say McNutt then passed another vehicle, Easley followed suit, but noticed another vehicle in oncoming traffic and realized he couldn't pass without causing an accident. 
    The report states that Easley applied his brake and took evasive action to prevent a collision, but stuck a ditch in the process. 
    Lt. Allen Edwards continued with the pursuit, according to police, as the suspect continues on Stegall Road towards Grubbs. 
    During this time, police say McNutt reached speeds in excess of 100-miles-per-hour. 
    Officers from the Newport Police Department, Arkansas State Police and the Jackson County Sheriff's Department were able to catch up with McNutt as he entered the Grubbs community. 
    Police say McNutt then turned north on Highway 37 towards Tuckerman. 
    At this time authorities say McNutt's vehicle began to have mechanical problems and started to emit a thick black smoke. 
    The vehicle then slowed, according to police, and pulled into a residence at 15942 Highway 37 North just outside Tuckerman. 
    Police were then able to take McNutt into custody without incident after a nearly 22 mile pursuit. 
    McNutt was then transported to the Jackson County Detention Center. 
    He was to appear in District Court on Wednesday, March 19, and expected to be charged with felony fleeing in a vehicle along with several traffic-related offenses. 

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