Law enforcement from multiple jurisdictions were involved Monday afternoon in a high-speed chase that ended in a three-vehicle fire off Interstate 440 in North Little Rock.
Terry Cook, 43, allegedly led officers in a chase that started in Grant County, passed through Redfield and proceeded north on Interstate 530 into Pulaski County before ending in North Little Rock.
“Grant County called me out to the expressway to assist them in the pursuit of a suspect,” said Redfield Police Chief Steve McFatridge. “He came across the [I-530] overpass and almost hit me before he got onto the expressway heading north. I’m hoping that I prevented him from coming into Redfield.”
McFatridge said that the ensuing chase at times involved speeds approaching 100 mph.
Arkansas State Police Public Information Officer Bill Sadler said in a press release that troopers deployed a spike strip, which Cook ran over, at I-440 and U. S. Highway 165.
“We could see that his [Cook’s] tires were going down so we knew he had hit the spike strip,” McFatridge said.
Several ASP units joined the pursuit at that point.
“We ended up on Fiber Optic Drive next to the Alliance Parts Warehouse,” McFatridge said. “He ended up in a field, where he was apprehended.”
McFatridge said that a grass fire that consumed his patrol car, an ASP cruiser and the suspect’s pickup truck came up seemingly out of nowhere.
“The way that fire came up, it was like gasoline hit the grass,” McFatridge said. “It spread so quickly. When you’re involved in a pursuit and apprehension, you’re not thinking about the dry conditions or anything like that. I lost all of my gear that was in the car as well. Luckily, the insurance company has been working with us.”
“While away from the [suspect’s] vehicle, it’s believed a catalytic converter on one of the vehicles ignited the dry grass, causing a fire that quickly engulfed an Arkansas State Police patrol vehicle and a Redfield Police patrol vehicle,” Sadler said in the ASP press release.
Sadler said that Cook was charged with fleeing and multiple traffic and criminal charges and that Redfield city and Grant County authorities are conducting their own investigations into the incident and may add additional charges.