Fort Smith woman arrested after chase with deputies, state police

Police lights

FORT SMITH -- A Sheriff's Office patrol car and three Arkansas State Police cars were damaged during a high-speed pursuit in Sebastian County on Tuesday.

The driver involved in the chase, Jennifer K. Porter, 27, of Fort Smith, was arrested on suspicion of eight counts of aggravated assault, felon in possession of a firearm, and felony fleeing, according to a Sebastian County Sheriff's Office news release.

Porter will also face charges for the theft of a vehicle, with other charges possibly pending.

A vehicle and a pistol inside it were reported stolen from the 17000 block of Arkansas 45 near Hackett about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, authorities said. A sheriff's deputy was taking the report, when another spotted the red four-wheel drive Dodge pickup on U.S. 71 South near Greenwood about 11:15 a.m. The deputy attempted to catch up to it, which he had clocked on radar at about 100 mph.

After the deputy activated his lights and realized the vehicle wasn't going to stop, the vehicle left U.S. 71 South and turned west onto Young Ridge Road. The deputy said he was in pursuit of the stolen vehicle.

The fleeing driver started trying to cause the deputy to wreck near the area of Young Ridge and Palestine roads, according to the news release. The pursuit continued over multiple county roads and state highways, with Porter reportedly brandishing the firearm at the deputy on Dayton Road. She stopped and rammed the deputy's vehicle, disabling it.

Other personnel from multiple agencies poured into the area around Witcherville, where the vehicle was last sighted. The vehicle was spotted again by law enforcement at the intersection of U.S. 71 South and Browntown Road. Porter then fled west on Browntown Road, circling back toward U.S. 71 South.

It was during this time authorities said Porter tried to ram multiple law enforcement vehicles, with her reaching speeds between 50 and 90 mph. She also attempted to ram a private vehicle on the road at the time.

Arkansas State Police were able to catch up to the vehicle on U.S. 71 South north of the Jenny Lind community and end the pursuit after forcing Porter's stolen pickup to stop.

No one was reported as injured.

NW News on 05/06/2020