Authorities in north Arkansas arrested a parolee after responding to a fire reported Tuesday night at a property near Mountain Home, and then they recaptured him later when he fled while being escorted to jail, the Baxter County sheriff said.
During the investigation, the man’s girlfriend also accused Thompson of assaulting her the previous evening and that she had sustained injuries during the incident. Montgomery stated there "was evidence present to substantiate that complaint."
Michael Roy Thompson, 49, faces charges that include arson, breaking or entering, first-degree escape and domestic battery.
Deputies responded about 10:15 p.m. to a fire on Buzzard Roost Cutoff. Thompson’s girlfriend said she became afraid of Thompson after they returned to the home that night, so she went and hid in nearby woods, Sheriff John Montgomery wrote in a statement. The sheriff said investigators found evidence to substantiate a separate claim that Thompson had assaulted his girlfriend the night before.
Authorities said that while his girlfriend was in the woods, Thompson damaged her vehicle and set fire to a plastic tote near a shed, though no structures burned. He was arrested a short time later several miles away.
While Thompson being moved to and from the Baxter County Detention Center, the man ran from officers toward Hickory Street. He was pursued by a jailer and two deputies before being caught a short distance away.
While being escorted from an investigator’s office to jail, Thompson ran off before being “quickly captured a short distance away,” Montgomery wrote. One jailer who pursued Thompson was said to have suffered minor injuries.
Thompson remained in the Baxter County jail Wednesday. Montgomery wrote that Thompson was paroled in December, though the statement didn’t provide details about his criminal history beyond noting that he has been booked into the Baxter County jail nine times since 2007.
Thompson fled from the residence in a vehicle before deputies arrived, Montgomery stated. He was stopped a short time later by Mountain Home police officers on the Highway 62/412 bypass.
A 49-year-old Mountain Home man who was out on parole was arrested on a litany of charges after he was arrested following an alleged arson fire at a residence, and tried to escape from police during the criminal investigation.
According to a news release from Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery, Michael Roy Thompson was arrested after authorities responded to reports of a structure fire at a residence on Buzzard Roost Cutoff shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday.
Deputies conducted interviews at the scene and learned that Thompson had allegedly been involved in a quarrel with his girlfriend after the pair of gone out together earlier in the evening.
After returning to the residence, the girlfriend fled from Thompson and took refuge in nearby woods, according to authorities. Thompson allegedly broke into his girlfriend’s vehicle, causing damage. The girlfriend and another female resident of the property allegedly witnessed Thompson setting an item on fire near a shed, and called 911 to report the fire.
Thompson fled the scene at that point, but was stopped by Mountain Home officers on the Sheid-Hopper Bypass and detained a short time later.
The investigation alleges Thompson started a fire in a plastic tote near the shed, but the shed did not sustain any damage as a result of the fire. The girlfriend also reported to deputies that Thompson had assaulted her the previous evening as well, and that she had sustained injuries during that incident. There was evidence present to substantiate that complaint, according to authorities.
Thompson was take to the Baxter County Detention Center for processing, then taken to the CID building to be questioned. After the conclusion of the interview, Thompson was being escorted back to the jail by a jailer, when he decided to attempt to escape on foot.
Thompson ran toward Hickory Street in downtown Mountain Home, but two deputies and the jailer were able to capture him after a short pursuit, according to the release.
During the pursuit, Corporal Austin Morrison, a jailer at the detention center, suffered minor injuries and was later treated at Baxter Regional Medical Center.
Thompson faces felony charges of arson, breaking or entering and escape in the first degree, as well as misdemeanor charges of Criminal Mischief in the First Degree and Domestic Battery in the Third Degree.
Bond for Thompson was set at $12,500, but Sheriff Montgomery said Thompson will likely have a no-bond hold placed for violating parole. The sheriff also noted Thompson has been booked into the Baxter County Detention Center a total of nine times since 2007.