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Friday, Oct. 21, 2016

Fugitive captured after 5 months

Thursday, February 20, 2003

A fugitive who eluded authorities for five months after an attack on Izard County Sheriff Joe Martz has been captured.

Ward Hendershott, 52, of Imboden was arrested Feb. 7 by the Arkansas State Police after he tried to flee again.Arkansas State Police Lt. Bobby Walker said Pardo Roberts with Crimes Against Children notified his office that Hendershott might be in the Bay area near Jonesboro.

Authorities in Missouri obtained a warrant Feb. 4 to search a residence that possibly contained a methamphetamine lab but the suspect fled in a Ford pickup truck. A description of the vehicle was given to authorities, and the Craighead County Sheriff's Office, Arkansas State Police and Bay Police Department worked together in the apprehension of the suspect.

Arkansas State Police were warned Hendershott might be in possession of automatic weapons and dynamite, Walker said.

Officers placed the house under surveillance Feb. 6 and discovered a truck that fit the description under a tarp in the back yard. When Hendershott arrived back at the residence around 2 a.m. he exited the vehicle but fled when he saw officers. Walker said the suspect tried to get rid of the drugs and cash as he was running but authorities nabbed him before he could.

Walker said three grams of methamphetamine were found in the suspect's pocket and additional methamphetamine was found on the ground.

The arrest stemmed from an earlier incident in which authorities searched and seized 45 grams of methamphetamine along with components used in making of the illegal drug, 40 grams of processed pseudophedrine and over $20,000 in U.S. currency, ASP Special Agent Ross Dean reported at the time of the first incident.

Izard County officers received information that Hendershott and his wife, Terri, were at a dentist's office in Melbourne and to be on the lookout for a green Lexus. Martz located the suspect's vehicle at Brad Wheelis Family Dentistry in Melbourne.

When Martz approached the 1992 Lexus he thought at first the vehicle was vacant, but he observed a movement at the driver's side so he approached Hendershott and attempted to arrest him.

When Martz took hold of Hendershott who was still in the vehicle the suspect put the vehicle in reverse, dragging Martz. He fled the scene with authorities in pursuit. He escaped and remained at large five months.

Hendershott was transported by Craighead County Deputy Scott Perry to Craighead County jail on a $1 million bond. The Lawrence County Sheriff's Office also has a $1 million bond on Hendershott. He faces charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, felony fleeing and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both Missouri and Izard County have issued hold orders on the fugitive.

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