Authorities arrested a northeast Arkansas jail inmate hours after he escaped by climbing a set of barbed wire fences and later attacked police officers who tried handcuffing him, officials said Friday.
The Poinsett County sheriff’s office said Jonathan Arthur Ware, 32, escaped from the county jail around 2:30 p.m. Thursday while in the exercise yard. Other inmates were coming back inside when Ware took off running, scaled two fences topped with barbed wire and fled the area, authorities said.
The sheriff’s office said he broke into a home along Old Military Lane and changed into other clothes. The homeowner later called the police to report the break-in, the agency said.
Sheriff Kevin Molder said in a statement Friday that a 911 caller reported seeing Ware running on Border Street in Harrisburg.
He said officers chased him through a house and Ware dove head first through a glass window. The shards injured a local and state police officer who chased and arrested Ware, Molder said.
“He continued fighting the officers and attempted to break the glass on a patrol car,” the sheriff said.
Ware faces additional felony charges stemming from the escape. They include third-degree escape, two counts of residential burglary, fleeing from police and causing damage, and two counts of criminal mischief.
He had initially been at the county jail since Monday on a parole infraction, according to county records. Records show Ware had been incarcerated for a prior battery and fleeing conviction.
The escape follows at least two other jailbreaks in recent weeks across the state.
Two men broke free of the Pulaski County jail in Little Rock late last month by climbing through a hole in a bathroom. U.S. Marshals eventually captured the men in New Mexico, but one was mistakenly released because of a clerical error, according to previous reports.
Earlier this week, two people broke out of the Cross County jail. Officials there said they evaded capture for nearly 24 hours in the woods near the facility. Two other people accused of helping them face felony charges.
Molder thanked the public and other agencies that helped with Thursday’s search.
“I have no doubt that the assistance from the surrounding departments, tips from the community and the media releases is the reason for our quick apprehension of Ware,” he said.
The sheriff told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the fences are designed to stop climbers. He said he’d never seen anyone climb over them since the jail opened 24 years ago.
“It is extremely rare for someone to do what he did,” Molder said.
Police returned Ware to the Poinsett County jail, where he remained Friday with bond set at $300,000.
Court and jail records didn’t list an attorney representing Ware to comment on his behalf.
Metro on 06/15/2019
Print Headline: Sheriff: Escaped inmate arrested in northeast Arkansas