Columbia County lawmen arrested a Texas fugitive on Wednesday morning following a pursuit that involved gunfire, and the subsequent discovery of a meth lab and a possible explosive inside a house on County Road 2 near Walkerville.
Sheriff Mike Loe said deputies went to a house on County Road 2 about 6:45 a.m. with the intent of arresting Jason Glen Mitchell, 35, of Atlanta, Texas, on a charge from Cass County, Texas, involving reckless endangerment of a minor.
Instead, Mitchell fled the house in a pick-up truck. Pursuing deputies fired several shots at the vehicle’s tires in an attempt to stop it. The truck wrecked off County Road 2 and Mitchell ran into the woods, Loe said.
A search team with a dog from the Wade Correctional Institute near Homer, LA, was summoned. The team found Mitchell about 9 a.m.
In the meantime, deputies searched the house and found equipment for manufacturing methamphetamine. They also saw what appeared to be a hand grenade, Loe said.
The Arkansas State Police provided a bomb disposal expert. The device was removed from the house and was safely destroyed by a controlled explosion on Wednesday afternoon, Loe said.
A woman at the house, identified by Loe as Abby Mock, was arrested on charges related to the manufacture of meth.
Mitchell is charged in Columbia County with felony fleeing, and endangering the welfare of a minor.