A traffic stop in Locust Grove could have gone terribly wrong Monday.

Deputy Zach Spohr with the Independence County Sheriff Office was patrolling in Locust Grove when a red SUV appeared in his lane with a male and female standing on the top of the vehicle.

When Deputy Zach Spohr activated his emergency blue lights to conduct a traffic stop, the 2003 Ford Escape vehicle sped off. At the intersection of Loop Road and Heber Springs Road, the vehicle failed to stop or slow down for the stop sign. The vehicle then pulled into the parking lot of the Batesville Motor Speedway.

Spohr ordered the driver out of the vehicle at gunpoint, along with all passengers.

Multiple children began exiting the vehicle: a 15 year-old, a 13-year old, two 10 year-olds, a 6 year-old, and a 3 year-old. A woman was allowed to care the for the children as the deputy placed the driver, Justin Lee Hager, 27, of Batesville, in to a set of hand restraints and double locked them. Greens Towing towed the vehicle and a hold was placed on it for proof of ownership.

Hager was transported to the Independence County Detention Facility where he was issued citations for 11 misdemeanor charges including using or making unofficial license plates, failure to register vehicle or expired tags, no signals for stopping or turning, fleeing reckless driving, improper passing on the left, no proof of insurance, no seatbelt, no drivers license or license expired, failure to stop at a stop sign, and six counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a minor. Bond was set at $6,200.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.