Forgery Suspect Crashes Into Fort Smith Police Cruiser During Pursuit

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Two men were arrested Tuesday (July 12) after crashing their vehicle into a Fort Smith police cruiser during a pursuit.

The pursuit began at the Rye Hill Branch of Arvest Bank on Hwy. 71 just after 12 p.m. when a suspect attempted to cash a stolen check, according to Fort Smith police.

The check had the name of a former bank employee on it, so employees called 911 and attempted to stall the man until police arrived, Sgt. Gerald Schaeffer said.

When the suspect saw a police car pulling into the parking lot, he jumped in his car and took off across Hwy. 71 onto Old Hwy. 71, driving through neighborhoods and a Walmart parking lot, Schaeffer said.

At Rye Hill Road and Steep Hill Road the suspect crashed into a ditch and his passenger out ran from the vehicle, but was quickly arrested, according to police.

The pursuit continued north on Hwy. 45, then west on Planters Road onto Grinnell Avenue. After circling the area between 35th Terrace and Jenny Lind Road, the suspect ended up southbound on 35th Terrace and made a left on Braeburn Glen, which is a dead end street, police said.

The suspect made a u-turn in the front yard of a residence and collided with a police vehicle that had stopped at the intersection of Brauburn Glen and 35th Terrace, according to police.

The police officer had minor injuries after his airbag deployed. The officer and the suspect were both taken to the hospital. The officer was treated and released.

The suspect, identified as David Vigus, 26, had no visible injuries, but told hospital staff he had been up for four days on methamphetamine, so he is being kept at the hospital for further observation, according to police.

Vigus is facing charges of second-degree battery, second-degree forgery and other traffic-related charges, police said. Vigus' passenger was identified as Datrick Thomas, 26. Thomas was arrested on an outstanding warrant for absconding, parole violation, criminal impersonation and fleeing apprehension, police said.