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Explosion in Pope County hurts several officers, authorities say; man, 66, in custody

by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | May 19, 2022 at 8:40 a.m.
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Several officers received minor injuries and one man was arrested after an explosion Wednesday night at a home in Atkins, authorities said.

At about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, authorities responded to a domestic battery call at the home, according to Atkins Police Chief Stephen Pack. Officers saw smoke, and a man who was inside fired several shots at officers when they tried to make contact with him, Pack said. 

The man, identified as 66-year-old Jesse Lee McCurley, came outside and was being taken into custody when something exploded in the home, according to police.

Pack said several officers were concussed and received cuts from shrapnel as a result of the explosion, though he described their injuries as minor. The officers were treated by medics, while one was transported to an area hospital to be checked out.

Among the agencies that responded to the call were the Pope County sheriff’s office, the Pottsville police and fire departments, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Arkansas State Police. 

McCurley was booked into the Pope County jail, where he remained Thursday morning on charges of attempted capital murder, aggravated assault and arson, an online inmate roster indicates. No bond was listed.

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