Arkansas man who escaped from police car nabbed in trash can, authorities say

Posted: November 9, 2017 at 4:30 a.m.

Jonathan Ware

Jonathan Ware

Police in northeast Arkansas have become wary of Jonathan Ware. They say he's a habitual offender and a flight risk who has been found hiding in a clothes dryer and a trash can.

The 31-year-old Harrisburg man likely will be spending more time in jail after, police say, he smashed a window out of a police car last month and took off running.

Ware became "irate" because Harrisburg Police Chief Gary Hefner wouldn't call Ware's mother for him, according to a probable-cause affidavit filed this week in Craighead County Circuit Court.

Hefner was transporting Ware from St. Bernards Regional Medical Center in Jonesboro to the Poinsett County jail on Oct. 24.

When Hefner stopped his 2015 Dodge Charger patrol car at an intersection on the south side of Jonesboro, Ware began kicking on the doors and windows of the vehicle, according to the affidavit. Hefner turned the car south onto Caraway Road.

"Ware grabbed the radar antenna in the back window and pulled it off the rear deck of my patrol car and began hitting the rear window on the driver's side ... causing the window to shatter," Hefner wrote.

The police chief looked back to see Ware climbing out the window.

"I then stopped and attempted to get out of my patrol car, but my seat belt was attached and I was slightly excited and could not get the seatbelt released," Hefner wrote. "By the time I did get out of my patrol unit, Ware got up on his feet and began running."

Hefner chased Ware on foot but soon encountered a large, chocolate Labrador retriever that was "coming directly at me in a vicious manner."

Hefner stopped so the homeowner could get control of the dog. In the meantime, Ware kept running.

The next day, a former Marine was walking his wife to her car about a block from where Ware escaped, Hefner said. The man noticed a trash can in his driveway was moving.

"He looks over in can, sees him in there, goes in and gets his gun and holds him at bay until the police arrived," Hefner said.

Besides being charged with felony escape in Craighead County, Ware was charged with three misdemeanors: criminal mischief, criminal trespass and theft of property, according to court filings.

Ware is being held in the Poinsett County jail in Harrisburg in lieu of $200,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in Craighead County Circuit Court in Jonesboro on Dec. 27 regarding the escape charge.

Ware has six charges pending against him in Poinsett County stemming from an incident in March. Those charges include robbery, battery, terroristic threatening, breaking and entering, criminal trespass and resisting arrest.

According to court filings, Ware is a habitual offender. He was previously found guilty of battery, residential burglary, arson, breaking and entering, criminal mischief, false imprisonment and aggravated assault.

Harrison Police Lt. Justin Kimble said police were pursuing Ware a few years ago in connection with an arson investigation, and Ware hid in a clothes dryer in his mother's house.


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Metro on 11/09/2017