FORT SMITH -- A man shot by police while being arrested last week pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Sebastian County Circuit Court to a charge accusing him of shooting into a home occupied by two people.
Court records show Matthew Lee Pittman, 19, entered the plea to terroristic act through Fort Smith attorney Bill Griggs, who waived formal arraignment. Bail was set at $50,000, and Pittman is scheduled to go on trial the week of June 11.
Pittman was arrested Jan. 3 at a convenience store at North 12th Street and Grand Avenue. Police were warned that Pittman was on his way to the convenience store, and he was sitting in his car in the parking lot when officers swarmed in.
Pittman rammed vehicles and nearly hit an officer as he tried to escape, according to police. Three officers opened fire, wounding Pittman multiple times and stopping him.
The three officers who fired on Pittman, and five other officers who were witnesses were placed on administrative leave pending completion of the investigation.
Police were pursuing Pittman that day because of a warrant issued Dec. 27 that charged him with committing a terroristic act. The affidavit for the warrant said he fired at least twice into a house at 2118 N. Seventh St. on Dec. 17. The house was occupied at the time by Samantha Taylor and her boyfriend Chancey Tyler, the affidavit said.
The affidavit said Pittman tried to break into the house, but Taylor's dog ran at him. Pittman went back to his car where he got a gun and fired shots at the house, according to the affidavit. Taylor told police she heard one of the shots hit the front door where she was standing.
NW News on 01/11/2018
Print Headline: Man pleads not guilty to terrorist-act charge