Escaped Lawrence County fugitive back in custody


JONESBORO, Ark. – Spencer Langston has been on a journey but that came to an end Saturday night, November 2, when he was captured in Texas County, Missouri, according to the sheriff.

Langston, of Thayer, Mo., has been on the run from authorities since he escaped on October 15 in transit to a Jonesboro facility from Lawrence County. He was apprehended sometime today in Texas County, Missouri, as first reported by LRS News, who told NEA Report they heard the cancelling of the “BOLO” over the radio from Lawrence County.

NEA Report contacted Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Yates late Saturday. He later confirmed the arrest early Sunday via text message.

NEA Report contacted the Texas County Jail shortly before 10 PM and the staff, who was familiar with the reason for why a reporter from northeast Arkansas would be calling, said they could not release any information and that we needed to call back at 8 AM to speak to a jail administrator.

We also called JPD to ask their desk sergeant at 9:59 PM if they were aware but the female officer wasn’t at all helpful or interested in our call. Ironically, JPD wasn’t interested in the incident as it was happening, either.

Langston was arrested on October 8 for first degree battery after an incident near the Black Rock area. A deputy on patrol noticed him walking along the ditch. The deputy tried to engage but Langston took off running. When the officer caught up, a fight ensued and the officer was incapacitated. Responding back-up officers were able to take him into custody. He was booked and had his bond set at $500,000.

But the violent man escaped.

Media outlets, including KAIT, struggled all night and the following day to gain information. The day after the “dangerous” felony fugitive escaped, JPD finally told the public about it. Worried citizens decried the lack of communication.

Eventually, after some incorrect information was clarified, the public learned that on Tuesday night, October 15, Langston was being transported from Lawrence County to a Craighead County mental health facility. Langston busted out of the ambulance and escaped. The press didn’t learn of it for hours and not from JPD but from Lawrence County.

NEA Report, in an on-going investigation that has not been published, has since learned several local medical transport services force their EMTs to transport dangerous inmates without proper defensive measures or care in place. It places the lives of EMTs at risk and is done for money, as local ambulance services are receiving fees for these transports.

Fortunately, none of the EMTs were hospitalized that evening like the deputy who first encountered Langston.

Instead, the man managed to escape the area and travel at least 160 miles, which is the shortest route he could have taken to get to Texas County, Missouri from Jonesboro.

That would also have taken him through Hardy, where he’s been previously reported to have area ties. He was also reported to be from Thayer in Oregon County, Missouri, which is not nearby Texas County.

It was an escapade that lasted several weeks for the fugitive but one that ultimately will see him return to northeast Arkansas.

But just like during his escape, it took the press to find out and let the public know.

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