High-speed chase results in arrest of wanted man

A Garland County man wanted on multiple felony warrants from Missouri was arrested Thursday after leading police on a high-speed chase through eastern Pine Bluff that ended only when the vehicle he was driving became disabled and turned into the yard of a house.

Malcomb Brian Pearce, 42, was being sought on four felony warrants from Christian County, Mo., charging him with forcible rape, first-degree sodomy with a child less than 14, statutory rape, child molestation, enticement of a child, endangering the welfare of a child and sexual misconduct with a child less than 15. Pine Bluff Police Sgt. Brett Talley said in a probable cause affidavit that some of the offenses listed are multiple charges and some have been upgraded because of them being a second offense.

According to Talley’s affidavit, he received information from a Garland County sheriff’s deputy Thursday that Pearce was possibly in the Pine Bluff area staying at a hotel and was possibly driving a silver Volkswagon Jetta that could possibly have damage and be displaying an out-of-state license plate.

Talley reported that he began searching for the vehicle by driving through the parking lots of motels and hotels at about 1:45 p.m., and at about 2:25 p.m., he saw a silver Volkswagon Jetta with a busted out rear passenger door window in the parking lot of the Pine Bluff Inn at 3103 Market St. The vehicle had a Florida license plate.

Talley contacted PBPD Detective Lt. Terry Hopson and requested assistance in making contact with Pearce, and Talley also confirmed that the warrants for Pearce were valid.

While Talley was waiting for assistance to arrive, Talley saw a small black Jeep SUV back out of and drive through the parking lot, and Talley recognized Pearce as the person driving the vehicle, according to the affidavit. Talley followed the vehicle and asked for a marked police unit to assist with a traffic stop because of the seriousness of the warrants and information that he had received indicating that Pearce would potentially fight and flee to avoid arrest.

Talley said he followed the vehicle through the parking lot of The Pines mall until it stopped between J.C. Penney and Kentucky Fried Chicken. When Talley activated the blue lights on his police car, the vehicle took off and headed west on Harding Avenue onto the 38th Street Cutoff, then continued east on the 38th Street Cutoff at speeds exceeding 80 mph before turning south onto Main Street. Pearce lost control of the vehicle, which struck a light pole on the southwest corner of 39th Avenue and Main Street. The vehicle continued south on Main Street then turned into the parking lot of Jack Robey Junior High School and when Talley blocked the entrance/exit leading into and away from the school on 39th Avenue, Pearce drove across a grass field heading back east across Main Street to 38th Avenue.

The affidavit said the vehicle had received substantial damage to the front drive train and the passenger side doors and body panels. Both front wheels of the vehicle were flared out pointing in opposite directions from each other. The vehicle continued east on 38th Avenue until it turned north into the exit of Southeast Apartments, then turned back east across a grass field and into the front yard of a house at 1101 E. 38th Ave.

Talley said Pearce attempted to flee on foot but was quickly taken into custody by officers who had been assisting in the pursuit.

Pearce was taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center after he complained of pain and was treated and released from the emergency room. He was taken to the adult detention center, where he was booked in on the Missouri warrants as well as a charge of felony fleeing and misdemeanor failure to maintain control.

Pearce narrowly missed hitting vehicles at the intersections of Harding Avenue and Pines Mall Drive, on the 38th Street Cutoff, at the intersection of 38th Avenue and Main Street, at the intersection of 39th Avenue and Main Street and again when he turned into the Jack Robey parking lot and headed back east on 38th Avenue, according to the affidavit. In addition, Talley said there was a 19-year-old female that was in the vehicle during the entire incident. She was released without charges.

After a court hearing Friday, Special Judge Luke Zakrzewski, who was filling in for Pine Bluff District Judge John Kearney, set a $25,000 bond after ruling prosecutors had probable cause to charge Pearce with felony fleeing. Pearce said he had an attorney that was handling his cases in Missouri and would handle the case here.