My Pulse News

Mena Arkansas News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

BREAKING NEWS: Manhunt concluded; suspect found

From our sister station KDQN 92.1 & Patrick Massey

By Patrick Massey

DIERKS LAKE (Dec. 15, 2021) – The search for a Polk County man who assaulted
a Sevier County investigator, stole his gun and vehicle and then led officers
on an hours-long chase has ended peacefully with the suspect in custody.

Justin Thomas Keaster, 39, was located and arrested by Sevier County
deputies earlier this afternoon following a multi-agency manhunt which began
Wednesday morning. The search for Keaster began after he fled in a stolen truck
from an Arkansas Highway Patrol officer. Later, he ambushed Sevier County
Sheriff’s Investigator Jeff Wahls, stealing his gun and patrol vehicle. The
patrol vehicle was later found wrecked and abandoned in an area around
Jefferson Ridge on Dierks Lake.

Wahls was injured during the altercation and transported to a nearby medical
center. Authorities say he is in stable condition.

Law enforcement agents utilized tracking dogs, horses and drones to locate
Keaster and bring him into custody. Fortunately, no one else was injured during
the incident or subsequent arrest.

Agencies involved in the search included Sevier County Sheriff’s Office,
DQPD, South Central Drug Task Force, Arkansas Highway Patrol, Nashville PD,
Dierks PD, Howard Co. Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas State Police, Arkansas
Department of Corrections and Arkansas Game & Fish wildlife officers, as
well as McCurtain County OEM.

Earlier today, it was reported that a manhunt by multiple law enforcement
agencies was ongoing for a Polk County man who assaulted a Sevier County
Sheriff’s investigator and stole his gun and vehicle this morning.

According to authorities, officers were searching the area north of
Jefferson Ridge on Dierks Lake for the suspect. Keaster was allegedly involved
in a high-speed pursuit with the Arkansas State Police earlier this morning. He
later ambushed a Sevier County investigator, stole his gun and patrol vehicle
and then fled. The vehicle was later found wrecked and the suspect is now
believed to be on foot north of the Jefferson Ridge area.

This is a developing story, and some information is likely to change as
details emerge.

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