Lowell Police Chief Remains In Critical Condition

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Lowell Police Chief Joe Landers will be examined by a neurologist at a Florida hospital Monday morning, according to a statement posted on a Facebook page created by his family.

Facebook Post:

"Dad is still in critical Condition neurologist dr will be see him again in the morning will post more after that. We have had a huge out pouring of support from several police departments here and a few motorcycle groups we are being given everything we need. The motorcycle groups are coordinating with the police to set up a time for a parade of motorcycles to ride by the hospital on the road that dads room faces so he can hear the rumble. We never could have expected the support we are getting not only from back home but from here as well."

Meanwhile officers with the Lowell Police Department are working to organize a fundraiser event to benefit Landers and his family.  The event will be held at 6 p.m. at Tuesday night's weekly "Bike Night" at Jose's in Springdale.
Lowell Mayor Eldon Long issued a statement Sunday at the request of the police chief's family to "ensure the integrity and reputation of Chief Joe Landers and to dispel any myths or rumors."
"He is breathing less on his own, his brain and pupil reactions are minimal at this time and his brain is swelling again," Long said. "Please continue to keep him and his family in your prayers."
On Saturday about 65 people attended a prayer vigil at Lowell City Hall for Landers, Long said.

The police chief was hospitalized in critical condition after a motorcycle accident Friday in Panama City, Fla.

Landers, 51, suffered a fractured skull, broken pelvis and broken arm among other injuries, officials said. He was on life support Saturday afternoon but breathing on his own 50 percent of the time, officials said at that time.

The evening prayer vigil was presided over by Eddie Davis, chaplain for the Springdale Fire Department, Long said. Among those who attended were officers from the Lowell Police Department, Benton County Sheriff's Office, the Bethel Heights Police Department and Arkansas State Police, the mayor said. Also in attendance was a representative of the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Division and members of the Blue Knights International Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club.

The mayor and police officials conducted a news conference in City Hall Saturday afternoon, more than two hours before the prayer vigil, to discuss the wreck and provide updates on the police chief's condition.

Landers, riding a 2008 Harley-Davidson Street Glide he had driven from Arkansas to Florida, was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, Long said. He said Florida law does not require motorcyclists to wear helmets or else the police chief would have had one on. Long said the police chief had not been drinking.

Landers, who has been with the department for 17 years and chief for 15 years, has a love for motorcycles, Long said. The mayor said he has ridden motorcycles with the police chief in the past.

A fund to defray expenses for the police chief and his family will be set up at Arvest Bank, Long said.

Capt. Randy Harvey, who previously served a chief while Landers was on military duty in Afghanistan, will lead the department in Landers' absence, Long said.

The accident occurred around 8 p.m. Friday, Long said. Landers, who was in Florida attending the Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally in Panama City Beach as a spectator, was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital, officials said. Family and acquaintances were on their way to Florida, Long said at Saturday's news conference.

Detective Sgt. Paul Pillaro said a Nissan Maxima pulled in front of Landers' motorcycle without signaling and collided with the motorcycle. The car fled the scene after the accident, but authorities later arrested a suspect, Pillaro said.

Jimmy John Christo

Jimmy John Christo, 52, of Panama City, was arrested and charged with felony possession of marijuana and other offenses, including fleeing the scene of an accident and other traffic violations, Pillaro said.

The driver told authorities in Florida he is a bartender and had been drinking for an hour at a different establishment before the accident, Lowell officials said.

Pillaro said he received an update on the police chief's condition just before the evening prayer vigil began.

Landers opened an eye when one of his sons entered the hospital room and followed his son's movements, Pillaro said Saturday.