Little Rock man sentenced to 5 years after high-speed pursuit

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HOT SPRINGS -- A Little Rock man on parole who fled from a traffic stop in March, prompting a high-speed pursuit that ended when spike strips were deployed, was sentenced to five years in prison Monday after pleading guilty in Garland County Circuit Court.

Zachary Remington Dixon, 25, who has remained in custody since his arrest March 10, pleaded guilty to felony fleeing, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and was sentenced to five years. An additional felony charge of first-degree criminal mischief was withdrawn in district court along with numerous misdemeanor charges and traffic violations.

According to court records, Dixon was convicted Nov. 7, 2017, in Garland County of possession of a firearm by certain persons and sentenced to six years in prison, but later paroled. He was previously convicted in 2016 in Garland County of possession of drug paraphernalia and sentenced to five years in prison.

According to the probable cause affidavit, around 9:45 a.m. March 10, Arkansas State Police Trooper 1st Class Dylan Robbins was patrolling in the area of Central Avenue near Amity Road when he saw a white Ford sport utility vehicle with expired tags.

He got behind the SUV as it turned onto Amity and then pulled into a parking spot at Harps Food Store, 5536 Central Ave., and activated his lights to make a traffic stop, according to the court records. A white female passenger got out and walked toward Robbins while the driver, later identified as Dixon, opened his door and looked at the trooper while saying "something about a job interview."

Dixon then shut the door and sped off, heading west on Amity with Robbins in pursuit. He noted that Dixon "demonstrated complete disregard for the safety and welfare of motorists by traveling at a high rate of speed and passing in no-passing zones, passing in blind curves and passing over blind hilltops."

Robbins said Dixon forced numerous motorists to "run off the roadway" by getting in their lane. During the pursuit, they passed a Garland County sheriff's deputy who began to follow and alerted other deputies including one ahead of them who said he would put out a spike strip.

The SUV continued passing other vehicles at a high rate of speed, Robbins said, noting that when he would get closer to attempt a PIT maneuver, the driver would "brake check" him. A PIT, or "precision immobilization technique," maneuver is a method used by some law enforcement agencies to stop fleeing vehicles by temporarily disabling them.

As they passed South Moore Road, Robbins was advised the spike strip had been deployed "just ahead of us" so he backed off as the SUV hit the strip. The SUV continued about half a mile before the driver lost control, left the roadway, struck a wooden sign and stopped in a ditch.

Dixon attempted to drive out of the ditch, so Robbins put the front of his unit against the driver's side door to keep him from getting back on Amity. Robbins got out and began giving orders to Dixon, but he reportedly refused to roll his window down so Robbins broke the window to get to him.

Robbins and Trooper Justin Parker finally pulled Dixon out and took him to the ground. When asked, Dixon reportedly said he was not injured and declined to be checked out by LifeNet personnel.

A computer check showed that Dixon had warrants for parole violations and from other agencies. He was set for an arraignment Monday, but opted to plead guilty instead at the hearing.