Harrison Police Chief Chris Graddy said Saturday morning that a collaborative effort between Arkansas and Missouri authorities led to the arrest of Sammy Awad, 29, at a Branson, Missouri, apartment complex Friday night and recovery of another stolen vehicle.
Awad, whose ID was out of California, was allegedly driving a stolen pickup and fled on foot after the vehicle was wrecked on the north side of Harrison.
According to Harrison Police Chief Chris Graddy, Missouri Highway Patrol received a complaint of a careless driver Thursday night.
When a trooper ran the license plate on the vehicle, the vehicle had been reported stolen out of Harrisonville, Missouri. The trooper tried to stop the vehicle, but the driver fled instead.
“At some point up there, he backed up and rammed one of the Missouri trooper’s vehicles,” Graddy said.
The pursuit led from Taney County into Arkansas on Highway 65, at which time Boone County and Harrison authorities were notified about 11:30 p.m., a police log shows.
Graddy said Harrison officers went to the north side of the city and an officer with a K9 unit went farther north with Boone County deputies.
Harrison officers picked up the pursuit just north of the city and an officer performed a pursuit intervention technique, or PIT, maneuver just inside the city limits on Highway 65, Graddy said.
The pickup spun out of control and went off the roadway, striking a guy wire on a utility pole that caused sparks and fire and a power outage.
A female subject, who wasn’t identified, was in the pickup, but Awad, who was the driver, fled into the wooded area.
Police searched for Awad into the night Thursday, but he wasn’t caught.
However, another man called to report his vehicle had been stolen sometime between noon and 3:30 p.m. Friday from the same general area where Awad was last seen. Graddy said he notified Boone County and Missouri authorities to watch for the vehicle.
In the meantime, Awad called the sister of the female subject who was the passenger in the vehicle Thursday night. She notified police and gave them the phone number from which Awad called.
Soon, a Missouri officer notified Graddy the vehicle reported stolen was parked outside the Bull Run apartment complex north of Branson.
That officer needed to leave the area at the time and asked if he should just recover the vehicle, but Graddy said he would like to see Awad in custody. Graddy then went to Branson and met with a Missouri Highway Patrol trooper as they staked out the apartment complex.
A resident of the apartment complex told police that the person driving the reportedly stolen car had parked in front of one set of apartments and was acting suspiciously. The suspect then went to another apartment, Graddy said.
Eventually, police went to that apartment and Awad was taken into custody without incident, Graddy said. The vehicle was returned to the owner.
Graddy said Awad was taken to the Taney County Jail on felony charges and will have to be extradited later to face charges here as well.