Police & Fire

Poyen man charged in Witherspoon Road pursuit

A Poyen man racked up a list of charges after police say he led them on a pursuit that began in Arkadelphia and ended on a county road across the Ouachita River.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed this week, authorities on Aug. 29 noted a “heavily damaged” vehicle, driven by 34-year-old John Lynden Lane Clifton, at 10th and Caddo streets; its windshield was extremely damaged and its back glass was missing. Sgt. Roy Bethell of Group 6 Narcotics attempted a traffic stop at 5th and Caddo, but Clifton continued east on Caddo, prompting Bethell to call for backup.

The pursuit continued across the Ouachita River bridge and onto Witherspoon Road. Clifton “almost lost control” of the vehicle as speeds reached 55 mph, then slowed to maintain control. This happened once again before Clifton reached the end of the paved roadway and onto the gravel section, less than a mile from the Highway 8 junction. A second officer, Lt. Russell Ursery of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, became involved in the pursuit.

The vehicle ultimately fishtailed and slid sideways before coming to a stop. Police made contact with Clifton at the driver’s side door and placed him under arrest. He had a felony warrant for his arrest in Nevada County. One of his two passengers, David Smith, had “multiple” misdemeanor warrants for failing to appear. Both Clifton and Smith were arrested at the scene and transported to the Clark County Detention Center.

Clifton’s charges range from felony fleeing and unauthorized use of another’s vehicle to misdemeanor traffic violations. He remains incarcerated in Clark County on a $50,000 bond.