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Felon arrested after alleged hit and run wreck

by Steven Mross | January 21, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.

A felon on probation was arrested Saturday night on multiple charges after he was allegedly involved in a hit and run collision while driving impaired and was later found asleep in his car with drugs and a stolen gun in his possession.

Ricky Andrew Connelly, 31, who lists a Redbird Place address, was taken into custody at 7:30 p.m. and charged with felony counts of theft by receiving of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance, Xanax, with purpose to deliver, and possession of a firearm by certain persons, each punishable by up to six years in prison, and a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated, drugs.

Connelly later bonded out and is set to appear Feb. 4 in Garland County District Court. He was previously convicted on March 15, 2016, in Garland County Circuit Court on a felony count of possession of a controlled substance, hydrocodone, and sentenced to five years' probation.

According to the probable cause affidavit, shortly after 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Hot Springs police Officer Corbin Rideout responded to the Valero, 1545 Malvern Ave., on a follow up to a hit and run that occurred earlier in the day.

The female driver of the vehicle that was hit had called to report the black 2012 Cadillac SRX that hit her was in the parking lot there. Rideout arrived and saw the Cadillac sitting at the gas pump and discovered a man, later identified as Connelly, asleep at the wheel.

He tapped on the window numerous times and finally got Connelly to wake up and noted he "appeared disoriented and his speech was slurred." Connelly told him he was waiting on someone to come pick him up.

Rideout noted Connelly's car had damage consistent with the wreck earlier and Connelly allegedly admitted he had "smoked weed and took Xanax" that day. Rideout noted his lips had a "blue crust" on them consistent with Xanax use.

Connelly was asked to step out and reportedly was unsteady on his feet "nearly falling on multiple occasions" so he was taken into custody for DWI and taken to jail.

In inventorying the car, officers found a Springfield handgun in plain view that was determined to have been reported stolen in the city and a pill bottle containing money and 20 Xanax pills.

Once at the jail, Rideout attempted to have Connelly perform some field sobriety tests, but after failing the first one it was decided it was unsafe to perform the other two due to his condition. A Breathalyzer test registered 0.0% blood alcohol content and even though Connelly agreed to provide a urine sample he was reportedly unable to produce one.

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