Search in Arkansas County continues for man who left possibly stolen plane

State and local law enforcement officials were searching a wooded area Tuesday in Arkansas County after a plane that officials believe could be stolen landed on a gravel road Monday night near Casscoe and a man jumped out and fled Tuesday morning.

Arkansas County Sheriff Allen Cheek said Tuesday that sheriff’s deputies, Arkansas State Police and Department of Corrections personnel began searching for the man, who was not immediately identified, after a constable came up on the plane.

“He (the unidentified suspect) stayed with the plane all night but when the constable came up, he saw it was law enforcement and decided to run,” Cheek said.

Department of Corrections spokeswoman Shea Wilson said dog teams from the Tucker Unit responded to the area between 8-8:30 a.m. after they received a call from Arkansas County requesting assistance.

Cheek said after the small plane landed on the gravel road, it rolled into a shallow ditch and the front wheel folded back.

He said officials have been working to establish a perimeter around the area but the man, who Cheek said is white and bare-footed, “had a pretty big jump on us.”

Cheek said authorities originally received information that the plane had been stolen, but later information indicated that it might not have been.

No further details were immediately available on the incident, and the investigation is continuing.