Suspect Jumps In Lake Avalon To Escape Police, Later Arrested

Jade Preston Neal

BELLA VISTA (KFSM) — Bella Vista Police Officers arrested a man who jumped into the water while fleeing from an arrest at the Lake Avalon dam in Bella Vista.

At 2:17 am Wednesday (July 11), Bella Vista officers approached three people at the dam. Two fled, and the third refused to identify himself, according to the Bella Vista Police.

Officers were unable to locate the two people who ran. Police believe they may have left in a vehicle parked below the dam.

When officers attempted to arrest the third male, Jade Preston Neal, 48, he resisted and pushed through two officers, jumping into Lake Avalon.

Bella Vista Cpl. Robert Warren followed Neal into the water, where he swam to a dock nearby and got into a boat to follow Neal, police said.

Neal eventually returned to shore after being in the water for about 45 minutes, where officers found him hiding under a dock. He told officers he was not coming out and they would have to come in after him.

Officers had Neal surrounded on land and in the water by a small boat and the Bella Vista Fire Department rescue boat.

Neal surrendered and came out of the water after about an hour. He was arrested for fleeing, resisting arrest and obstruction. He had two misdemeanor failure to appear warrants out of Bella Vista, and one misdemeanor contempt warrant out of Bentonville, police said.

He’s being held at the Benton County jail on a $2,705 bond related to the misdemeanor contempt charges.

No bond has been set for his new charges in Bella Vista.