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Huntsville man throws Molotov cocktails during police pursuit, authorities say

by Bill Bowden | April 6, 2021 at 7:01 a.m.
Daniel Joseph Harvey

HUNTSVILLE -- A 32-year-old Huntsville man was arrested Friday after he threw Molotov cocktails at police and threatened them with a machete and knife, according to a preliminary report the Madison County Sheriff's Office provided to Prosecutor Matt Durrett.

Daniel Joseph Harvey took police on a chase through the streets of downtown Huntsville on the morning of Good Friday, occasionally lobbing Molotov cocktails from his mother's Jeep Liberty, according to the report. Two of the incendiary devices caused fires on the pavement.

The incident started at about 10:40 a.m. when Lt. Mike Sloan, a sheriff's deputy, saw Harvey pull into the parking lot of a temporary holding facility in Huntsville.

Harvey has a battery charge pending against him from an incident on Oct. 1 in which he reportedly tried to stab Sloan and threw a Molotov cocktail at him.

In the prosecutor's report, Sloan wrote he recognized Harvey from the October incident.

Sloan went out to the vehicle to talk to Harvey, who appeared agitated.

"He stated we were after him and 'federal arbitration' were after him," wrote Sloan.

Harvey brandished a knife, according to the report. Sloan pulled his gun and told him to drop the knife. Harvey sped away.

A chase ensued.

"Harvey stopped the vehicle, lit a Molotov cocktail and threw it out the window at me while I was trying to exit my patrol vehicle," wrote Sloan. "The cocktail landed beside my patrol vehicle and burst into flames. Harvey then exited his vehicle with a long machete."

Sloan used his stun gun on Harvey but it was ineffective, according to the report. Harvey got back into his vehicle and fled again, stopping in front of the Huntsville Police Department.

Madison County Sheriff's Office Cpl. Clint Ham joined the chase. Both he and Harvey exited their vehicles.

Harvey threw a lit Molotov cocktail at Ham, according to the report. It landed in front of his patrol car and burst into flames.

Again Harvey sped away. When he saw a Huntsville Police officer approaching, Harvey sideswiped his vehicle, according to the report.

Harvey then stopped in front of Granny's Kitchen and tried to light another Molotov cocktail.

"There were several civilians in our immediate area so I attempted to reach into Harvey's vehicle and keep him from throwing the Molotov cocktail," wrote Sloan. "Harvey sped away in his vehicle."

On Parrott Drive, Harvey threw another Molotov cocktail out the driver's window. It landed on the road but didn't ignite, wrote Sloan.

Harvey led police on a high-speed chase on Arkansas 23 north before stopping at his home and brandished the machete, according to the report.

After several minutes of "verbal commands," Harvey attempted to stab the machete into the ground, leaving it readily accessible, but it fell over, according to the report.

"I holstered my duty weapon and continued to try to negotiate a peaceful surrender," wrote Sloan. "Harvey started to reach toward the machete, at which time I made the decision to make physical contact with Harvey."

Several officers assisted to get him handcuffed, according to the report.

After searching Harvey's vehicle, police were able to account for six Molotov cocktails, wrote Sloan.

Harvey was in the Washington County jail on Monday. He has yet to be formally charged, but he could face several charges, including attempted capital murder, according to the preliminary report.

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