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Thayer man leads police on long chase

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A Thayer, Mo., parollee turned himself in to Fulton County authorities after leading Sharp County law enforcement on a chase for about 45 minutes Aug. 12.

Lee Smith is charged with eight misdemeanors, including fleeing, speeding, careless and prohibited driving and driving left of center, Ash Flat Police Chief Mike Zeiger said.

The chase began about 12:30 p.m. when Ash Flat Officer Bobby Woods met the motorcycle driven by Smith on Highway 62/412 at the stoplight in Ash Flat. From the stoplight to El Acapulco the motorcycle sped to approximately 75 mph, Zeiger said.

Woods turned around and began pursuing the motorcycle, which was traveling toward Highland. Highland Officer Tim McComas met the motorcycle at the intersection of Highway 62/412 and FM101 Road and attempted to block traffic to prevent the motorcycle from traveling through, Zeiger said.

Instead of stopping, the motorcycle did a U-turn and began traveling back toward Ash Flat before turning into the south entrance of Cherokee Village with police following close behind, Zeiger said.

The bike traveled through Cherokee Village to Highway 289 where Arkansas State Trooper Dustin Rogers attempted to block the road with no success, Zeiger said. Smith continued to travel north on 289.

The bike turned off the road onto Great Woods Road, a gravel road in Fulton County, when officers lost sight, Zeiger said.

Officers with Fulton and Sharp Counties and with Ash Flat, Mammoth Spring and Highland saturated the area looking for the driver for another hour or so, Zeiger said.

More than an hour later Smith, who is on parole, called Fulton County authorities and arranged to turn himself in to Arkansas State Trooper Ronnie Stewart.

"He abandoned the bike, walked through the woods to a friend's house and called Fulton County," Zeiger said.

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