At the end of a high-speed, 30-minute chase Tuesday, Feb. 27 morning, a 34-year-old Nashville man was stopped by police tactics before anyone could be hurt.
The saga began when Antonio Garner, black male, asked to test drive a used car, and drove away from the York Gary car lot with salesman Arturo Perez inside.
When the car got three blocks away at a three-way stop on Leslie Street, he ordered Perez out of the car and took off.
But he returned immediately because he wanted the car ignition “fob” which the salesman still had. Perez refused to hand it over, and the thief took off again. He drove around some in Nashville, even turning through the parking lot at the jail before heading out of town.
Perez called for help, and co-workers notified police and the chase began, hitting speeds well over 130 mph and dangerously forcing other motorists off the road, according to Howard County Sheriff Bryan McJunkins.
The police and fleeing car raced through Mineral Springs, and Garner drove through spikes placed on US Hwy. 71 north of Ashdown, flattening two tires. He kept on going on rims.
Finally, a state police car nudged the rear of the fleeing car, forcing it to wreck before it could get into downtown Ashdown. The driver reportedly struggled briefly before being handcuffed.
Another man who arrived with Garner at the dealership apparently knew nothing of what was about to transpire. He stayed around to be interviewed by police.
Capt. Bradley Gore of Arkansas State Police Troop G said that several law enforcement agencies participated in the chase and arrest, including the ASP, county sheriff’s departments in Little River and Howard counties, and city police departments in Nashville and Ashdown.
Sheriff McJunkins said that Garner was returned to the Howard County Jail soon after the incident.