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story.lead_photo.caption Niemeyer

A Hot Springs man was charged with several traffic violations late Tuesday after he allegedly drove into a local business and struck a guardrail, then fled the scene only to return a short time later.

John Robert Niemeyer, 29, who lists a Lees Landing address, was taken into custody at around 10:45 p.m. Tuesday and charged with misdemeanor counts of driving while intoxicated, punishable by up to one year in jail, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage and failure to present proof of insurance.

He was later released on $2,000 bond and is set to appear in Garland County District Court on Oct. 2.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Niemeyer's vehicle was westbound on Highway 270 west when it allegedly struck 270 Pawn Shop, 4430 Albert Pike Road. After hitting the building, Niemeyer allegedly fled the scene and continued down the highway until his vehicle collided with a guardrail, disabling it. He reportedly left the scene before first responders could arrive.

A short time later, he came back to the scene of the collision and allegedly admitted to driving the vehicle. During the field sobriety text, he reportedly refused to cooperate and was placed under arrest for driving while intoxicated.


• A local man was arrested Tuesday morning on multiple felony charges after meth and prescription pills were allegedly found in his vehicle following a traffic stop for fictitious tags.

Chris Allen Wright, 46, who lists a Spring Street address, was taken into custody around 11:45 a.m. Tuesday and charged with felony counts of simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, punishable by up to life in prison, unauthorized use of another person's property, punishable by up to 20 years, possession of meth, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a firearm by a certain person, and a misdemeanor count of possession of lorazepam.

Wright appeared via video in Garland County District Court Wednesday morning and pleaded not guilty to all charges. Bond was set at $17,500 and he remained in custody with a felony review hearing set for Oct. 30 to determine if the charges will be bound over to Garland County Circuit Court.

According to the affidavit, Arkansas State Police Trooper Michael Summit saw a blue Ford Mustang traveling eastbound on Highway 70 west. A check revealed the license plate belonged to a 2005 Buick LeSabre, prompting Summit to initiate a traffic stop at the Valero near the intersection with Adam Brown Road.

He made contact with the driver, identified as Wright, who reportedly told him his license was suspended and he had taken the license plate off the Buick to drive the Mustang to the store.

Initially Wright claimed he bought the Mustang a few days earlier, but later reportedly admitted he had it a least a month. He said he did not have any paperwork or insurance on the vehicle and a check revealed the Mustang was not registered to White.

Summit noted Wright and his female passenger seemed nervous while speaking with him and when he asked if there was anything in the vehicle he needed to be made aware of, they both responded no.

Summit had Wright step out of the vehicle, and patted him down for weapons. The passenger was also asked to exit the vehicle, and when she did, Wright allegedly told Summit there was a firearm under the passenger's seat.

A 9-mm handgun was allegedly removed from the vehicle, and Wright was placed into custody for possessing a firearm with previous felony convictions. Wright reportedly insisted he found the firearm, and was on his way to get rid of it.

Summit searched the car and reportedly found a black and orange bag wedged between the driver's seat and center console. Inside the bag, he allegedly found a clear glass smoking pipe with residue and two clear bags containing suspected meth.

Inside a purse located on the passenger's side floor, Summit allegedly found a prescription medication bottle with no label on it containing 5 grams of lorazapram pills.

Wright reportedly admitted the meth and pills belonged to him.

Local on 09/21/2017

Print Headline: Local man arrested after vehicle strikes building

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