UPDATE: The suspected driver of the stolen vehicle, Naomi Milne, has been arrested and faces 15 charges including careless driving, endangering the welfare of a minor in the 3rd degree and fleeing according to the Washington County jail roster.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM)—Police have arrested three people following a police pursuit that ended with a car crashing into a Golden Corral on Wednesday (May 2) night.
Alexandra Pound, 20, and Jesus Lara-Garcia, 21, were both arrested in connection with theft by receiving and fleeing. Two 15-year-old boys were also arrested. The suspected driver, Naomi Milne, was arrested Sunday (May 5).
A Springdale officer was doing a foot patrol around 8:10 p.m. at the Motel 8 on Thompson Street when he noticed a Mazda 6 that was occupied several times, according to Lt. Jeff Taylor, Springdale police spokesman.
The officer approached the car and announced his presence but the vehicle sped off.
Lt. Taylor said the officer chased the vehicle southbound on Thompson, where it lost control and crashed into the Golden Corral in Fayetteville.
The restaurant had several customers and employees inside at the time. One employee was roughly 10 feet away from where the vehicle crashed into the building, according to a probable cause affidavit.
One man told 5NEWS he was enjoying a meal with his girlfriend when the vehicle crashed through a window just feet from where his girlfriend was standing. He says he's replayed the event over and over again in his head and says he feels lucky it didn't end differently.
“If it would have come at that angle it should have, there would have been injuries, there would have probably been some deaths. It was just very fortunate, very thankful. God was definitely watching over,” Shaun Mercer said.
All of the occupants fled from the car, which was found to have been stolen out of Bentonville.
The stolen car belongs to Hannah Smith, who reported it missing last week. She said she's speechless at where it was found.
"Shocked obviously that my car was now sitting inside the middle of Golden Corral and I was pretty mad to know that someone could do that and put all of those peoples lives in danger," Smith said.
Smith said her car was stolen outside of her work and that she never thought something like this would happen.
"It came at a pretty hard time for me honestly I’ve been going through a lot and so having my car stolen just kind of topped it all off for me," Smith said.
Police found drug paraphernalia and a scale with methamphetamine residue inside the car. A stolen credit card was also found inside.
"We know who they are. They are not unknown people to us we know exactly who they are we know where they live it’s just a matter of catching them," said Springdale Officer Jeff Taylor.
Fayetteville and Johnson police officers searched overnight for the occupants, locating some of them early Thursday (May 2) morning.
"It sounds like they are pretty dangerous people and that they’ve done this before so I really hope that they find them," Smith said.
Smith says it's frustrating to have something she worked so hard for ripped away, but she can rest easier knowing her car has been found.
"Why... you know I worked hard to buy that car I bought it with my own money," Smith said. "To see people that are my age doing this, yeah it just makes me really sad."
Police said the investigation is ongoing.
Lara-Garcia and Pound were being held at the Washington County Detention Center on bonds of $6,000 and $1,500, respectively.