Motorcycle pursuit ends in felon’s arrest; allegedly tossed gun

A Hot Springs Police Department patrol unit is shown outside the department in this 2022 file photo. - File photo by Donald Cross of The Sentinel-Record
A Hot Springs Police Department patrol unit is shown outside the department in this 2022 file photo. - File photo by Donald Cross of The Sentinel-Record

A reportedly homeless felon was arrested late Monday after allegedly fleeing from a traffic stop on a motorcycle during which he tossed a loaded gun and was later found in possession of drugs.

James Harrell Wilson, 43, who lists "city streets" as his address, was taken into custody shortly after 10 p.m. and charged with felony counts of simultaneous possession of drugs and a firearm, punishable by up to life in prison, possession of a firearm by certain persons, possession of a controlled substance, hydrocodone, and possession of drug paraphernalia, each punishable by up to six years, and a misdemeanor count of fleeing in a vehicle, punishable by up to one year in jail.

Wilson, who was also cited for no liability insurance, driving a vehicle without tags and three counts of failure to yield, was being held on zero bond and was set to appear Wednesday in Garland County District Court.

According to court records, Wilson was convicted in 2000 of delivery of a controlled substance and sentenced to eight years in prison; in 2018 of breaking or entering and sentenced to five years' probation; and in 2019 of residential burglary and sentenced to five years' probation, all in Ouachita County. He also has felony drug charges pending in Hot Spring County from an April 15, 2022, arrest and in Dallas County from an April 23, 2022, arrest.

According to the probable cause affidavit on Monday's arrest, shortly before 9 p.m., Hot Springs police Officer Cristian Rios tried to make a traffic stop on an unlicensed motorcycle at the intersection of Trivista Right and Talisman streets, but the male operator refused to stop.

The pursuit ended in the 300 block of Columbia Hills Street when the male ditched the motorcycle and fled on foot. After a short pursuit, the male, identified as Wilson, was taken into custody.

During the pursuit, officers reportedly saw Wilson throw something near the intersection of Sellers and Chelsea streets and dropped items on Carl Drive. It was noted Wilson "never once went over 35 mph" during the pursuit.

At the corner of Sellers and Chelsea, officers allegedly found a .38 Special Derringer firearm loaded with two brass rounds. In searching Wilson, Rios allegedly found a pill bottle in his jacket pocket containing 20 hydrocodone pills. It was noted the pill bottle had someone else's name on the prescription which was covered with duct tape.

Officers also allegedly found a glass pipe with residue on Wilson's person. While searching the motorcycle, they reportedly found a small bag containing aspirin and a single brass .38 Special round that matched the rounds found in the Derringer.

A computer check revealed Wilson's status as a convicted felon so the additional firearm possession charge was filed.

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