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Local felon arrested in connection with drive-by shooting

by Steven Mross | January 21, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.
A file photo of a Hot Springs Police Department patrol unit. - File photo by The Sentinel-Record

A local felon was arrested on multiple charges Friday morning in connection with a drive-by shooting about an hour earlier after allegedly fleeing from Hot Springs police who later found drugs and a gun.

Lionel Matwon Tidwell, 25, of 102 Robin St., was taken into custody shortly after 9 a.m. and charged with felony counts of committing a terroristic act and possession of a firearm by certain persons, each punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, and fleeing on foot.

Tidwell was later released on a $31,500 bond and is set to appear on Feb. 4 in Garland County District Court. Tidwell was previously convicted on June 29, 2015, in Garland County Circuit Court of two counts of residential burglary and sentenced to 12 years in prison with six years suspended and again on June 13, 2017, of possession of cocaine with purpose to deliver and was sentenced to six years in prison.

According to the probable cause affidavit, around 8 a.m. Friday, police were dispatched to the area of Cooper Street to a report of shots fired.

A female witness stated she was behind a blue passenger car the shots came from and followed it from Cooper to the 100 block of Robin Street where the car stopped.

Officers spotted a blue Nissan Sentra in that area and saw the driver exit the vehicle and flee behind the residence at 102 Robin St., Tidwell's listed address. A description of the suspect was put out and officers spotted a man matching the description, later identified as Tidwell, running between two houses in the 200 block of Walnut Street.

Officer Jason Green located Tidwell in the area and took him into custody without further incident. In searching his person, he reportedly found a bag with 5.7 grams of what later tested positive for marijuana on him.

Officers returned to the Sentra and saw "a large amount of cash strewn on the ground" leading to where Tidwell had fled behind his residence on Robin.

HSPD K-9 Officer Chad Ford and his partner, Ork, were called to the scene to do an article search and located a black canvas "fanny pack" behind a residence in the 200 block of Walnut that contained a large amount of loose cash. They continued searching and also found a Glock 22 handgun on the ground in the same area.

The total amount of money retrieved on the ground and in the fanny pack was $2,293.68. The Sentra was towed in and searched further and another baggie with 2 grams of marijuana was found.

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