Johnson County
Sheriff's Office
Clarksville, Arkansas
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Vehicle Theft, Pursuit Leads To Numerous Charges

A 32 year-old Clarksville resident faces several felony charges after a vehicle was stolen from Westside High School and he led deputies on a high-speed pursuit.

Richard Thomas Spitler was taken into custody following a vehicle and foot pursuit.

At approximately 8:50 a.m., dispatch received a call that an unknown male subject had just stolen a 2006 Chrysler Sebring from the Westside High parking lot and was traveling west toward Rabbit Hill Road.

Deputy Jacob Shook was en-route to the scene at approximately 9:03 a.m. when he passed a vehicle matching the description on Highway 352.  Shook turned on the vehicle and attempted to stop it.

The driver accelerated to over 100 m.p.h. and began passing other vehicles on curves and no-passing zones while traveling east on 352.

When they neared the Highway 352/County Road 2301 intersection, Spitler swerved to the right and drove through a barbed-wire fence and across a pasture.  Deputy Shook followed the vehicle across the pasture. Spitler then exited the pasture by driving through another barbed-wire fence into the yard of a residence on County Road 2301.

Spitler ran from the vehicle and ran across 2301 into a wooded area with Deputy Shook close behind.

Shook caught Spitler approximately 200 yards in the woods and placed him under arrest. 

Spitler is charged with Theft of Property (Felony), Fleeing (Auto) (Felony), Fleeing (Foot), Criminal Mischief, Criminal Trespass and Reckless Driving.

The stolen vehicle suffered several hundred dollars damage as the result of the fences.  Deputy Shook's vehicle suffered only minor scratches.