By Ray King
A $50,000 cash only bond was set Thursday for a Pine Bluff man accused of being involved in a high-speed chase through two counties on Tuesday.
Pine Bluff District Judge John Kearney set the bond after ruling prosecutors have probable cause to charge James Pearce, 41, with felony fleeing, possession of a controlled substance, theft by receiving, and second-degree battery.
Reading from a probable cause affidavit from White Hall Police Investigator Clayton Cantrell, Deputy Prosecutor Mircha King said a White Hall officer attempted to stop a 2003 silver Toyota Camry driven by Pearce on Sheridan Road at about 2:30 p.m. The vehicle reportedly had fictitious tags on it.
King said Pearce refused to stop and sped away at high speed on Interstate 530 heading north.
When the vehicle reached Exit 20, the Redfield exit, officers from Redfield deployed spike strips in an effort to stop the vehicle but Pearce avoided them and continued northbound on I-530.
Pearce exited I-530 at Bingham Road in Pulaski County and lost control of the vehicle which spun around 360-degrees and nearly collided with a vehicle driven by Redfield Police Chief Steve McFatridge who had to swerve to keep from getting hit.
King said State Troopers then joined the pursuit.
After Pearce was taken into custody, a White Hall officer found a baggie containing a crystal-like substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine on Pearce’s body and another bag containing 10.7 grams of meth was found in the vehicle. A female passenger in the car was bleeding from the head and was taken to a Little Rock hospital where she was admitted.
Cantrell reported that officers contacted the registered owner of the car who had reported it stolen earlier in the day and had signed a stolen report with Pine Bluff Police officers.
King said Pearce has multiple theft and drug related charges in Jefferson and Cleveland Counties and failed to appear in Jefferson County Circuit Court Monday. The Public Defender’s Office was appointed to represent him.