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07/17/2012

PRISONER ESCAPES FROM DEPUTY IN HARRISON BUT IS RECAPTURED

Michael Paul Howard

     A Mountain Home man, 31 year old MICHAEL PAUL HOWARD, is back in custody after he escaped about 1:45 PM this afternoon from Baxter County Reserve Deputy Thomas Pahs on U. S. Hwy 62/412 in Harrison. 

     Deputy Pahs had picked up HOWARD earlier today from the Sebastian County Jail in Fort Smith and was returning him to Baxter County on an outstanding felony warrant of arrest for Revocation on an original charge of Failure to Register as a Sex Offender. 

     Deputy Pahs had slowed down for a traffic light near The Home Depot in Harrison, and MICHAEL HOWARD escaped from the back seat of the car while it was still slowly in motion.  HOWARD was handcuffed in front.  He did not have leg cuffs/shackles on. 

     Officers from the Harrison Police Department, Boone County Sheriff’s Office, and Arkansas State Police immediately began searching for HOWARD, and he was taken back into custody by a Boone County Deputy Sheriff at approximately 3:10 PM in a vacant lot near the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Harrison, which is about ¼ mile from where HOWARD escaped. HOWARD had managed to free himself from his handcuffs by the time he was caught.   He had also managed to steal the Deputy’s cell phone from the interior of the vehicle, and was found with the phone in his possession. MICHAEL PAUL HOWARD has been booked into the Baxter County Detention Center at least 35 separate times since 1999.

     The Baxter County Sheriff’s helicopter had been sent to Harrison to assist with the search. 

     MICHAEL PAUL HOWARD will be held without bond in the Baxter County Detention Center pending an appearance in Circuit Court.  The incident will be further reviewed by supervisory staff for purposes of enhanced training for deputies in transporting prisoners.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff

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