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Vehicle pursuit ends with two arrests, burned car

  A vehicle pursuit ended with two arrests Friday afternoon near Houston according to Perry County Sheriff Scott Montgomery.

  Gunner Barnes, 26, of Houston, and Seth Nordrum, 21, of Bigelow, were taken into custody after dogs from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission found them lying in a waist-high grassy field about 100 feet from the car they had abandoned after crashing into a brush pile, the sheriff said.

  The pursuit began when Lt. Bill Finley, on routine patrol, noticed Barnes driving an SUV near the intersection of Highways 300 and 216 near the Oak Grove community about 5 miles southeast of Perryville and attempted to stop him. The sheriff said his office had a warrant for Barnes and officers had been trying to locate him.

  Barnes turned east on Highway 216 toward Houston and traveled about 4 miles with Finley in pursuit before turning onto County Section 16 Loop Road on the west side of the May Cemetery. There he drove the SUV through a gate and traveled about a mile and a half before coming to a second gate. Instead of crashing through it, Barnes drove through a barbwire fence and into a field that had recently been clear cut. Barnes lost control of the SUV and ran into a brush pile. Both Barnes and a passenger with him fled the SUV and ran into a field where they hid in the grass.

  “They left the car motor running,” the sheriff said, “and apparently the exhaust ignited the brush that in turn caught the SUV on fire.”

  The Houston Fire Department was dispatched to put out the fire.

  Officers from the State Police, Perryville Police Department, and Sheriff’s Department arrived to back up Finley.

  “We decided to call for dogs from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department to help us find the suspects,” the sheriff said.

  The Arkansas Game and Fish officers from Saline County arrived first at about 5 p.m., and their dog found the two suspects lying in the grass about 100 feet from the burning car. “It only took the officers and their dog about two and half minutes to find them,” the sheriff said.

  “Both gave up without further incident,” the sheriff said.

  Barnes was out on bond after being charged with stealing a truck and wrecking it near the Bigelow school when officers were in pursuit back in February the sheriff said.

  The SUV Barnes was driving Friday was also a stolen vehicle from Pulaski County.

  Both Nordrum and Barnes face multiple charges. Barnes is being held in the Perry County Detention Center in lieu of a $100,000 bond.

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     Perry County, Arkansas
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