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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Man flees, faces charges in Izard, Baxter

Thursday, May 9, 2002

Bond has been set at $100,000 for a Forrest City man who faces 10 charges in Izard and Baxter counties following a chase that resulted in injuries to a reserve officer and damage to three police patrol units.

Robert Simmons, 51, remains in custody at the Baxter County jail.

The Izard County Sheriff's Office issued a bulletin that a deputy was injured during an altercation at the Calico Rock Junior High School April 24. The bulletin directed area law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for Simmons, who was identified as the man responsible for injuring the officer.

The incident occurred when Simmons allegedly violated an order of protection by entering school grounds. Officials from Calico Rock Junior High School called law enforcement officers to the school when Simmons tried to pick up his daughter from school, but was not granted permission because of the court order.

Reserve Officer Deputy Marsee was dispatched to the school and when he arrived he told Simmons another deputy would soon arrive at the scene. He told Simmons he was under arrest on a warrant from Baxter County.

A struggle occurred when Simmons resisted arrest, according to authorities. Marsee hurt his knee during the struggle and Simmons fled the scene in a black Chevrolet pickup truck.

Baxter County authorities dispatched a deputy to the area of State Highway 201, just north of Norfork. Baxter County Sgt. Bob Clippinger located Simmons' vehicle traveling north on State Highway 201 near Highway 341 and attempted to stop him. Simmons failed to stop and continued north on Highway 201.

Simmons eluded a roadblock that Arkansas State Police TFC Charles Hubbard and Cpl. Kenneth Foley set up at the intersection of Highway 201 and Arkana Road.

After driving around the roadblock Simmons was met by Arkansas State Police Sgt. Van Nowlin who was traveling south on State Highway 201.

Nowlin reported he had to take evasive action to avoid a collision with the suspect's vehicle and then joined in the pursuit continuing north on Highway 201.

Baxter County deputies deployed a spike strip on Highway 201 and Cody Creek Road in an attempt to disable Simmons' vehicle. A front tire of the vehicle deflated after driving across a spike strip, but the suspect continued traveling north.

Hubbard took over as the primary vehicle in the pursuit. As the suspect continued north, deputies were able to pull in front of and on the right side of his vehicle.

Simmons' vehicle struck the rear of a Baxter County Patrol car. After striking the deputy's vehicle the suspect turned off the highway and drove into a field located on the west side of the highway. He turned south in the field and circled back to the highway. Simmons re-entered the highway for a short distance before driving into a road ditch located just east of the highway.

He continued to travel north in the ditch and attempted to re-enter the highway. During one of these attempts he drove toward Sgt. Nowlin, almost striking him as he stood on the highway. Nowlin fired two shots at the approaching vehicle with his shotgun, striking it on the left side.

The suspect's vehicle continued north through a ditch and struck a driveway, then stopped after striking two Baxter County patrol units.

According to a police report Simmons fought with authorities when they tried to take him into custody, but officers were able to subdue him.

Simmons was transported to the Baxter County Regional Hospital for treatment of minor injuries and then taken to the Baxter County jail.

Officers later determined the truck driven by the suspect had been stolen from a used car dealership in Mountain Home April 20. Officers determined the suspect had left another stolen vehicle, which had been stolen from a car lot in Bald Knob April 20, at a dealership.

Simmons is facing aggravated assault, theft of property, fleeing, DWI, reckless driving, resisting arrest, fictitious vehicle license, no liability insurance and driving to the left of center charges in Baxter County.

Izard County charges include second degree battery and theft of property.

Damages estimated to law enforcement vehicles was listed as light to moderate with damage to the suspect's vehicle estimated as moderate. Marsee was transported to the Calico Medical Center where it was determined he needed surgery on his knee and was later transferred to Baxter Medical Center.

Izard Sheriff Joe Martz said Marsee is currently at home recuperating from injuries he sustained during the struggle.

The day before the police chase Simmons was allegedly involved in a theft at the Western Auto Store in Izard County April 23.

Deputy Jackie Orr was dispatched to the Western Auto Store when it was reported that a suspect who entered the store left the premises with stolen merchandise. Simmons asked the store clerk to get him a gas tank and when the clerk left the front counter Simmons allegedly fled the scene with a saw and two chains.

When Simmons was apprehended the following day, a chainsaw was recovered from his vehicle.

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