BY MELANIE BUCK –
Mena Police officers’ quick response ended an apprehension before it escalated to a shoot-out last week at the Budget Inn Motel in Mena. On Monday, April 3, 2017, Mena Police Chief Brandon Martin, along with Officers Ronnie Richardson, Jessie Curry, and Detective Norm Gray traveled to the Budget Inn after receiving a tip that Jason Tomblin of Mena was staying there.
Tomblin is currently on probation and had an outstanding White warrant for his arrest. A White warrant is an arrest warrant that is issued typically for a probation or parole violation, or someone who absconds (flees) from supervision. Police received information stating Tomblin had rented a room at the motel with the alleged intent to sell methamphetamine and also that Tomblin was “acting crazy.”
As officers approached the motel, Tomblin was sitting in his blue S-10 Blazer in front of his room. Police reports state that Officer Richardson was dropped off at the north end of the motel and Martin pulled into the south end of the parking lot. As Richardson made his way across the parking lot, Tomblin stepped out of the vehicle. As Richardson commanded Tomblin to get on the ground, Richardson stated that Tomblin kept looking inside the vehicle. As Tomblin moved towards the back of the vehicle, Richardson was able to close the distance and apprehend the subject.
Since the vehicle was started, Richardson assumed that Tomblin kept looking inside the vehicle because he was considering fleeing. However, after Tomblin was apprehended, police found a loaded .22 pistol in the seat.
When Officer Curry arrived to transport Tomblin to jail, the subject began to threaten Chief Martin and Officer Curry. As Curry transported Tomblin to the Polk County Detention Center, Tomblin allegedly told Curry that he considered “shooting it out” with police and “wished he would have.”
After a search of the subject’s vehicle and motel room, officers found methamphetamine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia (including a pipe used to smoke marijuana and a used syringe), and cash. According to the report, Detective Gray took a confiscation report to Tomblin in jail for him to sign and, not only did Tomblin refuse to sign it, he also threatened Gray at that time.
Tomblin remains in the Polk County Detention Center and was formerly arraigned on Wednesday on one count of Possession of Methamphetamine with the Purpose to Deliver; one count of Possession of Firearms by Certain Persons; one count of Simultaneous Possession of Drugs and Firearms; and one count of Possession of a Controlled Substance.