A 33-year-old man who escaped from the back seat of a Cleburne County deputy's vehicle has been charged with theft of the handcuffs he was wearing.
Ronald Anthony Long owes $40 in restitution to Deputy Jeff McLain for the handcuffs, according to an affidavit filed Tuesday in Cleburne County Circuit Court.
Long escaped during a Jan. 14 traffic stop while deputies were searching a black Ford Thunderbird in which he had been a passenger, according to the probable-cause affidavit.
Long was captured three days after the escape. He was no longer wearing handcuffs.
Long told investigators that he rolled the window down in the deputy's vehicle and unlocked the door, then slipped out while two deputies were busy searching the Thunderbird and ran off.
Besides the misdemeanor theft charge, Long also was charged with escape and possession of methamphetamine, marijuana and paraphernalia.
Long's last known address was in Quitman, according to the Cleburne County sheriff's office.
Deputy Austin Miller stopped the Thunderbird because Long and the driver, Amy Rae Ford, 25, tried to hide their faces when they met Miller's car on Piney Creek Road near Rose Bud, according to the affidavit. Long and Ford both had warrants out for their arrest, according to the court document.
During the arrest, Miller pulled his gun on Long because Long initially refused to show his hands and a knife was visible near his leg in the Thunderbird, according to the affidavit.
McLain, who arrived to assist Miller, handcuffed Long and placed him in the back of a patrol car, according to the affidavit.
After noticing Long had escaped, the deputies searched the surrounding area but were unable to find him.
According to a news release from the sheriff's office, Long was captured Jan. 17 in a joint effort with a probation/parole special response team and the U.S. Marshals Service.
Long and Ford remained in the Cleburne County jail on Wednesday. Long's bail was set at $50,000.
Ford was being held on a probation violation from Faulkner County. She was sentenced Oct. 24, 2013, to 84 months of probation for possession of drugs and paraphernalia.
Long is considered a habitual offender because he has been convicted of more than four felonies, according to the affidavit. Long had three felony convictions for theft of property, in addition to one each for breaking and entering, criminal mischief and being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to the court document.
Neither Cleburne County Sheriff Chris Brown nor Prosecuting Attorney Holly Meyer could be reached for comment Wednesday.
An Internet search revealed a few other cases, in states other than Arkansas, in which people were charged after an escape with theft of the handcuffs they were wearing.
Sierra Lois Machnicki, 29, of Salina, Kan., was charged Jan. 2 with theft of handcuffs after she escaped from the front seat of a police car on New Year's Day while a Saline County, Kan., deputy was searching her vehicle.
Machnicki also was charged with possession of drugs and paraphernalia, escape, interference with law enforcement, driving with a revoked or suspended license, and driving without headlights when required.
NW News on 02/01/2018
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