Suspect Arrested After Crashing In 80-MPH Police Chase, Report States

russell police chase mugshot

A Springdale man broke into two Fayetteville businesses before leading police on a high speed chase and crashing Tuesday, according to the Fayetteville Police Department.

Jimmy Russell, 40, was arrested on suspicion of two counts of commercial burglary, two counts of theft of property, criminal mischief, driving while intoxicated and several traffic violations. He remained Tuesday in the Washington County Detention Center on $12,021 bond, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Police said Russell broke into the Noodles restaurant early Tuesday morning by forcing open the patio door. He was gone by the time officers arrived, according to a preliminary report from the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office. A short time later, officers were dispatched to a burglary in progress at Chitwood Optical Lab and the Reptile Museum at 60 E. Township St. in Fayetteville, according to Fayetteville police.

The doors at the location were “smashed out,” police said, and a dark-colored car was seen speeding from the location without its headlights on. An officer chased the car on foot, but the driver sped away to Gregg Avenue, according to the preliminary report.

An officer in a police car chased the suspect down Appleby Road. At one point, the chase reached speeds of about 80 miles per hour, police said. The suspect lost control of his vehicle while turning at Appleby Road and Jason Drive, crashing the black Ford Mustang into a privacy fence at 217 E. Jason Drive, according to the Fayetteville Police Department.

The suspect emerged from the wreckage, saying, “I’m drunk,” and police handcuffed and arrested him, according to the preliminary report. Russell told officers he drank three or four 25-ounce beers, and this would be his third DWI offense, police said. He allegedly also told officers he was driving around looking for some “female company”.

Police said about $30 was stolen from Chitwood Optical Lab. Detectives found evidence linking Russell to the lab break-in and the burglary at Noodles, namely footprints that matched the suspect’s footwear, police said.

The suspect was transported to Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville, before being released a short time later. He was then booked into jail, records show.