On the morning of July 3 while on patrol, Searcy County Deputy Joey Baysinger encountered a vehicle with an equipment malfunction. When he attempted to stop the vehicle on Hwy. 65 in Marshall he noticed it matched the description of the stolen vehicle out of Boone County.
According to Searcy County Sheriff Kenny Cassell, Baysinger turned on his emergency lights in an attempt to stop the vehicle, but the driver of the vehicle took off driving at a high rate of speed. While following the vehicle, Baysinger noticed a male driver was the only occupant in the car. The driver, who was headed south on Hyw. 65, was traveling at speeds up to 110 mph. The driver was also driving down the middle of the road and passed another vehicle in a blind curve on a double yellow line.
When the driver entered Van Buren County he was driving in work zones at speeds up to 90 mph. At this point, Searcy County Deputy Dustin Rosenberger joined the pursuit. After entering Van Buren County, the driver turn onto State Hwy. 16 and baled out of his vehicle and attempted to the flee the scene on foot. Searcy County deputies were now assisted by members of the Marshall Police Department and Van Buren County Deputies.
At this time, Baysinger gave K-9 Deputy Vader, a search command and began a search of the area around the vehicle. Baysinger then spotted the driver of the vehicle, Johnny Wayne Rowton, age 43, of North Little Rock, in a swampy area of the woods and placed him under arrest.
During a search of Rowton's vehicle, officers found two sets of scales that contained residue that tested positive for crystal methamphetamine. Also found were six needles and a smoking device.
Rowton was transported to the Searcy County Detention Center where officers learned he had a probation warrant out of Little Rock. He was charged with felony possession of drug paraphernalia; felony fleeing; felony absconding; felony defective equipment; misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia; and misdemeanor reckless driving.