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FORT SMITH -- A 19-year-old man who was shot by police during his arrest last week goes before a judge today to answer to a terroristic act charge that had prompted the police to arrest him.

Matthew Lee Pittman is on a Sebastian County Circuit Court docket for arraignment on the felony charge that accuses him and another man of shooting into a home occupied by two others Dec. 17.

Prosecuting Attorney Dan Shue said Tuesday that his office filed the terroristic act charge against Pittman. He was being held in the Sebastian County jail in lieu of $153,000 bond.

An affidavit for an arrest warrant said Pittman and Mason Lyles pulled up to the home at 2118 N. Seventh St. about 8:15 a.m. Dec. 17, and Pittman picked the front door lock to break in.

The woman who lived in the house, Samantha Taylor, told police that, as Pittman entered, her dog ran at him and chased him to the car where she saw him pull out a gun. The affidavit said as she shut the front door, she heard gunshots and heard one of the bullets hit the door.

Pittman and Lyles drove off as Taylor called the police, but the men returned and tried to push their way in the front door, the affidavit said. Taylor told police that her boyfriend Chancey Tyler helped her keep the door shut and the men drove away again.

A warrant was issued for Pittman's arrest Dec. 27, and probation and parole officers alerted police Jan. 3 that Pittman was on his way to a convenience store at North 12th Street and Grand Avenue.

When officers encountered Pittman, he was in his car in the store parking lot. As officers attempted to arrest him, Pittman rammed his car into vehicles and attempted to run over an officer, according to police.

Officers fired shots that hit Pittman, stopping him. He was taken to a hospital where he was treated for multiple gunshot wounds and released.

Eight officers who were involved in Pittman's shooting and arrest have been placed on administrative leave pending completion of the investigation.

Three of the eight officers fired shots during the arrest, police spokesman Cpl. Anthony Rice said. They are field training officer Jeff Lum, officer-in-training Thomas Brashier and an undercover officer, according to the police department.

The other five suspended officers were witnesses. They are Sgt. Wayne Barnett, officer Steven Creek, officer-in-training Chelsey Garrett, officer Dylan Harris and another undercover officer.

Pittman has not been charged in connection with events surrounding his arrest. The police investigation was ongoing Tuesday, Rice said.


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State Desk on 01/10/2018

Print Headline: Man shot by police due in court

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