Three charged after shot fired in parking lot

By BRUCE ALSOBROOK, News-Telegram Managing Editor

July 7, 2008 - Three people were arrested early Sunday after a warning shot was fired in the air to break up a family fight, one of a number of incidents investigated by police and sheriff's officers this weekend.

Hopkins County Sheriff's Deputy Tony Crouse was on South Broadway Street when he heard a shot fired in the parking lot of Massey's Convenience Store at the corner of South Broadway and Shannon Road.

By the time police arrived, a 28-year-old Arkansas woman had been detained by Crouse. Officers then took the woman's common-law husband, a Nashville, Ark., man, age 37, for public intoxication, and her cousins, Texarkana men ages 19 and 20, on separate counts of minor consuming alcohol and a probation violation warrant from Texarkana.

The four were returning from a family holiday gathering in Dallas, police were later told. The 37-year-old man, who was driving the 2002 Chrysler Concorde they were in, had been arguing on the road with the woman and one of the cousins about pulling over and changing drivers. The older man had apparently been drinking, and the others were concerned about their safety.

When they stopped in Sulphur Springs, the four got out and the driver locked the door, leaving the woman's niece, about 2 years old, inside. An argument between the man and one of the cousins ensued, and witnesses inside the store said they saw the two men fighting outside.

Once the door was unlocked, the woman told police, she went into the car and retrieved a .380-cal. handgun from her purse. As the argument between the men escalated, she fired a single round into the air. In a statement given after the incident, she wrote that once the men realized she was "serious and scared," the tensions calmed. That's when officers began arriving at the scene.

The three men were taken to the county jail. The woman was not charged, and the car and child were released to her.

In other incidents, police arrested Alejandro Rios, a 20-year-old man listing a Sulphur Springs address after he fled when they tried to pull over his Ford sport utility vehicle about 11:45 p.m. Saturday. Officers reported they saw the SUV hit the curb at Texas and Bell streets, but when they turned around and hit their emergency lights, the Ford kept going. Police followed the SUV onto Lee Street to Georgia Street, then headed north. After a pursuit of about six blocks, the man stopped at Peach and Brinker streets, and was taken from the vehicle at gunpoint. The man, who was not a U.S. citizen, was found not to have a license, and he smelled strongly of alcohol. An open beer was also found in the front seat. Rios was booked into the county jail on a state jail felony charge of evading arrest or detention in a vehicle.

Elsewhere in Hopkins County, a man who wrecked his car following a pursuit by state troopers Sunday morning remains at large. Reports state that a highway patrolman attempted to stop the 1993 Honda Civic for driving 85 miles per hour in a 65 mph zone about 2 a.m. Sunday. The car "wrecked out" near the 134 mile marker of Interstate 30, and the driver fled on foot. An 18-year-old Frankston man was left behind, and was arrested for minor in possession of alcohol after half-dozen cans of Keystone Light beer were found in the car. State troopers and deputies searched for the driver for about 90 minutes before calling off the manhunt, but have information they believe will help identify the suspect.

Deputies also took a Brashear man, 22, into custody not long after a report from a woman who said her boyfriend beat her up. The call came in at about 8:30 p.m. Sunday from a woman who said she had been assaulted by her boyfriend, who then kicked her out of her own car and drove off, leaving her on the side of the road. About 15 minutes later, a deputy located a vehicle matching the description of the car in question and stopped it on State Highway 154 near County Road 1174. He was taken to the county jail on a charge of assault-family violence.

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