Two arrested, one injured in speeding incident through Lavaca, Barling and Fort Smith

File photo
File photo

LAVACA -- Two people were arrested and another person was injured after a chase involving Sebastian County sheriff's deputies on Thursday afternoon.

The Sheriff's Office posted on Facebook that a deputy was patrolling on Bugscuffle Road near Lavaca due to a number of speeding complaints when a vehicle sped by and accelerated rapidly in an attempt to flee.

The post states the vehicle went through Barling at speeds of approximately 60 mph when the front passenger opened the door and jumped out. The passenger slid one way and a gun in his waistband slid another. He rolled a number of yards and suffered significant road rash. The gun was recovered and found to be loaded, according to the post.

The post states Barling police and Arkansas State Police continued the pursuit into Fort Smith. The fleeing vehicle then veered into the Sam's Club parking lot, at which point Barling police officers used a tactical vehicle intervention technique to bring the vehicle to a sudden stop.

The driver, Austin Pester, jumped out and fled on foot, but was captured.

A female in the back seat of the vehicle, Sarena Barrios, told police she slept through the chase.

Pester was arrested in connection with felony fleeing in vehicle, second-degree battery on police officer, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia. Barrios was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

The post states the front passenger has not been charged at this time, as he claims he was just catching a ride into town when everything happened.

Police said the investigation is ongoing.

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