Suspect Leads Clay County Deputies on Backhoe Chase, Faces Multiple Charges

CLAY COUNTY, Ark. – A suspect is in custody after leading authorities on a chase in a back hoe this week in Clay County, a press release from Sheriff Ronnie Cole said.

On May 29, 2023, the dramatic incident unfolded in Clay County as law enforcement officers pursued a suspect driving a backhoe across a residential property in the Leonard Community. The individual, identified as 40-year-old Rodney Thrasher, was already known to have an outstanding warrant from Piggott. Clay County Deputies attempted to stop Thrasher, but he evaded their initial efforts by fleeing down various field roads.

During the pursuit, the situation escalated when Thrasher allegedly attempted to ram the deputy’s truck twice with the backhoe. However, the deputy managed to maneuver alongside the backhoe and successfully used OC spray, also known as pepper spray, to subdue the suspect by targeting his face. Following this intervention, Thrasher continued driving for approximately 300 yards before eventually coming to a halt on county road 513, where he was promptly apprehended by law enforcement.

Subsequently, Thrasher was transported to the Clay County Detention Center. He now faces multiple charges, including aggravated assault, criminal mischief, fleeing from authorities, possession of a controlled substance, as well as the existing warrant from Piggott related to the unlawful distribution of a sexual image on a recording.

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