Fugitive Caught Following Massive Manhunt

A fugitive wanted by several states was captured early Wednesday by a handful of agencies in eastern Crawford County.

“There was a bunch of police cars everywhere.” eyewitness Cassidy Pierce said.

Arkansas State Police, Crawford County, Dyer Police, Highway Patrol, Mulberry Police and the U.S. Marshals Service worked together on the 16-hour-long manhunt.

“Every mile there was a police car, police car, police car, police car,” Pierce said. “You seen them all out there with guns and searching the highways right here.”

Authorities captured Ryan Jerome Oneal, 26. Officials had been searching for Oneal since 11:30 a.m. the day before.

A state trooper on the scene told 5NEWS they tried to take Oneal into custody during a traffic stop around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday; that’s when he ran on foot.

“We split into teams and checked all the area barns, vacant houses just all, pretty much all day and all night,” said Mulberry Police Chief Shannon Gregory.

Gregory said he saw Oneal running through the parking lot at a truck stop along Interstate 40 around 4 a.m.

“There was 5 or 6 truckers that said that he had actually asked them for rides,” Gregory said.

Crawford County Sheriff Ron Brown said Oneal was captured just minutes later, Wednesday morning.

“He would have done whatever it took to get out of the area,” Brown said.

People at the truck stop are glad Oneal is in jail.

“It was a little bit exciting cause nothing like that ever really (happens). We don’t get too much excitement around here,” Pierce said.

Oneal was wanted on charges including theft, forgery and aggravated assault of a police officer in Georgia, according to Tony Overstreet with the US Marshals Service.

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