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Sheriff’s Office Apprehends Violent Fugitive


On Friday, February 9, 2018, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received information about a violent wanted fugitive that was possibly hiding out in south Polk County, according to Sheriff Scott Sawyer.

The suspect, 20-year old Jose’ Maria Perez, was wanted out of Chatham County, Georgia for numerous charges including Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution, Home Invasion, Aggravated Assault, Burglary, and Aggravated Sodomy with Force (reportedly on a minor under the age of 10).

Sawyer reported that at approximately 2:15 p.m., the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas Game and Fish, and 18th Judicial West Drug Task Force conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle just south of Wickes. Jose’ Maria Perez was the passenger in the vehicle and was arrested without incident. The driver of the vehicle, Marco Ruiz, age 30, of DeQueen, Arkansas was also arrested. Charges on Ruiz are pending.

According to reports, Jose Maria Perez was an inmate in Georgia and was mistakenly released on Tuesday, February 6, 2018. The inmate that was supposed to be released had a similar name – Jose Lopez-Perez, who had been booked for DUI and traffic charges. Following receiving information that Jose Maria Perez might be located in south Polk County, Sawyer and his deputies took quick action, apprehending the subject.

Perez was transported to the Polk County Detention Center where he will remain pending extradition to Chatham County, Georgia.

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