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Drug task force director dies during chase

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published March 27, 2013 at 10:01 a.m. Updated March 27, 2013 at 10:12 a.m.

The director of the 5th Judicial District Drug Task Force died Tuesday after collapsing during a chase in Clarksville.

Johnson County Coroner Todd McAteer said Larry Johnson, 65, collapsed while chasing a suspect on foot near Cherry Street.

Johnson was taken to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead early Tuesday evening, McAteer said.

"We really don't know for sure" what happened, McAteer said. "He's been sent to the Medical Examiner's office in Little Rock. We're thinking probably a heart attack but not for sure."

t wasn't clear what started the chase. Clarksville Police Department Chief Greg Donaldson didn't immediately return a message left at the police station, but he posted condolences on the agency's Facebook page.

"Larry was a friend, confidante, and brother in blue who gave his life protecting and serving the citizens of Clarksville, Johnson County, and the State of Arkansas," Donaldson wrote. "As a community, I ask you to wrap your arms around all of your law enforcement professionals and the Johnson family in the coming days and say a prayer for us as we struggle to come to terms with our loss."

Fifth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney David Gibbons was in a murder trial and not immediately available for comment, a woman who answered the phone at his office said Wednesday morning.

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DEMOCRATREPUBLICAN says... March 28, 2013 at 1:07 p.m.

I quess the criminal got away?

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