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Deputy injured in chase

By NCSO website, 01/2/19 3:57 PM

PRESCOTT – An attempted traffic stop turned into a high-speed chase resulting in two vehicles with the Nevada County Sheriff’s office being damaged, and one deputy injured.

On Sunday, December 30, Prescott Police Officers attempted a traffic stop on a white Chevrolet pickup. The pickup fled through the city traveling East Highway 24.

Nevada County K-9 Deputy Jeremy Hendrix and Investigator Robert Missey were notified due to the fact they live in the area.

K-9 Deputy Hendrix made contact with the pursuit near the intersection of Nevada 18 and Nevada 246. Hendrix took over as lead pursuit vehicle at this time. The vehicle traveled north on Nevada 246 to the intersection of Nevada 35 where it suddenly applied its brakes causing Deputy Hendrix to slide into the rear of the vehicle.

The vehicle traveled several county roads eventually turning back south on Nevada 246. The vehicle entered the Nevada 246 and 18 intersection where Investigator Robert Missey attempted to enter the pursuit. The white Chevrolet jumped across a ditch area striking Missey’s vehicle causing extensive damage to the 2018 Dodge Durango and injuring Missey, who was transported by the Nevada County Ambulance service to St. Michael’s Hospital in Texarkana.

The truck continued down Nevada 18 to a dead end area where it again applied its brakes in an abrupt manner causing Deputy Hendrix to make contact with the back of the vehicle.

The truck traveled down a muddy dim road at the end of the road eventually with both Hendrix and the pickup getting stuck. The driver and the passengers fled from the vehicle into a wooded area.

K-9 Deputy Hendrix observed during the pursuit a white male was the driver of the vehicle and the vehicle had a white male passenger in the front with a white female passenger in the back seat.

During a search of the truck, Deputy Hendrix located a loaded firearm along with identification belonging to Amanda Griffin from Gurdon. Griffin was believed to be the passenger in the back seat.

Deputies later received information that W/M John (JD) Purtle was the driver of the vehicle along with Dustin Covington being the W/M passenger and Amanda Griffin the W/F passenger.

Nevada County Deputies along with the Arkansas State Police and the Arkansas Game and Fish conducted a search of the area but were unable to locate the suspects.

The suspect vehicle was removed from the area and placed into impound.

On the morning of December 31, 2018, Deputy Bo Morris located a white male and a white female exiting a wooded area on Nevada 18. Contact was made identifying the subjects as Griffin and Covington. Both suspects were placed in custody and were transported to the Nevada County Detention facility.

On the evening of January 1, 2019, Purtle was located at a residence off of Nevada 18 and placed into custody. Purtle was also transported to the Nevada County Detention facility.

Purtle was charged with felony fleeing by vehicle, first degree criminal mischief, aggravated assault, second degree battery on a police officer and fleeing on foot. Purtle was first appeared on the above charges on January 2, and a bond was set at $250,000. Purtle was also placed on hold for a felony warrant out of Hempstead County.

Griffin was charged with possession of a firearm by certain persons, felony fleeing and for fleeing on foot. Griffin was first appeared with a bond set at $100,000.

Covington was charged with possession of a firearm by certain persons, felony fleeing and for fleeing on foot. Covington was placed on hold for a felony probation violation warrant out of Miller County.